The Mitchell's Robert Burns Collection -
The Best in the World?
When The Mitchell Library opened in 1877, one of the earliest decisions of the library committee was to put together a collection of items relating to Robert Burns as a memorial to Scotland’s national poet.
The Library aimed to collect all available works by Robert Burns, about him or anything that was in any way related to him. The Collection is still being added to and now contains over 5,000 items. It is believed to be one of the largest in the world.
over 900 editions of the works including 2 copies of the 1786 Kilmarnock edition and two printings of the 1787 Edinburgh edition
15 original manuscripts in the poet’s hand, including the only surviving letter written by Burns in Scots and the only copy in existence of ‘The Ordination’
translations of the poet’s works into more than 36 languages
ephemera, artefacts and scrapbooks
complete set of The Burns Chronicle
The Collection is housed in The Burns Room and located in the older part of the Library which was built in 1911. This area is not open to the general public but material from the Collection can be consulted during library opening hours. A catalogue of the Collection is available. For more information or to arrange a visit, contact Special Collections.
The Burns Room may also be hired for special events and meetings.