In his introduction to Golspie: Contributions to its Folklore, Nicholson tells how he and his wife and three daughters first went there during the summer of 1891 when, crowded out of Nairn and seeking shores “for the feet of the paddler or the spade of the digger”, they found there “all that we craved”. His book is a charming medley of children's games, ghost stories, customs and superstitions, weather beliefs and archæology—with special emphasis on Pictish inscriptions. It was printed by the Oxford University Press and published by David Nutt in dark green cloth. A Highland scene and four happy little girls playing the local ring game of Hilli Ballu—over one fine of its air—are gold stamped on the front board; the locally significant wild cat's head decorates the spine and there is an outline map of Sutherland on the back. The whole book is obviously the work of a man of wide human sympathies, insatiable curiosity, untiring perseverance and an immense affection for children. Are there better basic qualities for a librarian? Golspie is equally obviously the work of a dogmatic man who takes himself and his thoughts and activities very seriously, and who displays few signs of a sense of humour. But then these basic qualities have manifested themselves in other librarians also. Who was this E. W. B. Nicholson and what did he do?
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