Robert Burns Collection

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Special Collections,
Level 5, The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN
0141 287 2988
Fax: 0141 287 2815

Robert Burns Collection

Robert Burns

New Addition to the Burns Collection - July 2014

Glasgow Libraries are delighted to announce that Robert Burns' manuscript of "Ye Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon" has been purchased for our world-renowned Burns Collection. It had been in a private collection for more than 100 years but now Glasgow Libraries can share it with the nation.

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. 


Collection Highlights 

  • 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.



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