Clan Donald Magazine No11 (1987) Online
take great pleasure in congratulating Callum Macdonald founder of
Macdonald Printers and Publishers (Edinburgh) Ltd, who now lives in
(semi) retirement at Innerleithen, Peeblesshire on the occasion of
an exhibition of his achievements as a Scottish literary publisher
currently being staged within the National Library of Scotland,
George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.
Born on the island of Bernera, off the west coast of Lewis, Callum
was educated at the Nicolson Institute, Stornoway and the University
of Edinburgh where he studied history. During World War II he served
in the RAF, completing two tours of flying operations, being based
at Reykjavik and Gibraltar, and was mentioned in dispatches in the
New Year's Honours List of 1945.
His publishing career began, after the war, in a stationer's shop in
Marchmont Road, Edinburgh, when he acquired a small hand-press and
began printing, mainly commercial work, until he took over Lines
Review from its second issue in 1953. As a printer, he was entirely
self-taught. Although a native Gaelic speaker he has always done his
utmost to promote Scots and English as well as Gaelic literature.
The present Editor of Lines Review says of him:
"Callum Macdonald belongs to the great
tradition of Scottish literary publishers, men like Archibald
Constable or William Blackwood who in their time encouraged a
generation of Scottish writers.
"Certainly, with his efforts, the work of
poets like Sydney Goodsir Smith, Robert Garioch, Sorley Maclean
and many others would not have seen the light of day..."
Other writers whose work Callum has published have included Tom
Scott, J.K. Annand, R. Crombie Sounders, Magnus Magnusson, Alan Bold
and Derek Thomson. He published in 1978, Clan Donald, a definitive
history of the Clan, by the late Donald J. Macdonald of Castleton
and several of the early numbers of Clan Donald Magazine.
The exhibition was formally opened by Dr. Norman MacCaig, the
Scottish poet at a well attended reception in the Library on Friday
The assistant keeper in the department of manuscripts at the
National Library, who prepared the exhibition and the catalogue
says: "We all celebrate his achievements and salute his unique
services to Scottish literature." It is fitting that his clansfolk
should do likewise.
Callum Macdonald is a life member of the Clan Donald Society of
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