Robert Burns (1759–1796) was a Scottish poet and songwriter, widely regarded as Scotland’s national poet. He is considered a pioneer of the Romantic Movement and after his death became an important source of inspiration to the founders of liberalism and socialism. Burns collected folk songs from across Scotland and often revised or adapted them. His poem (and song) “Auld Lang Syne” is often sung at New Years and “Scots Wha Hae” served as the unofficial national anthem of Scotland for many years. Burns’s night is still celebrated by many people Scottish people around the world on the 25th of January.
The Robert Burns Collection houses a rich gathering of primary and secondary works relating to the life and career of 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns. This includes over 400 editions of Burns’ poems and correspondence, dating from the 1780′s to the present day, and a variety of 19th- and 20th-century facsimiles of Burns’ manuscripts and of the first Kilmarnock edition of his “Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect.”
Secondary sources on Burns and his literary output include reference works (e.g., bibliographies, encyclopedias, glossaries), biographies, and criticism. The Burns Collection also includes a wide variety of items which illustrate the poet’s legacy in popular culture and Scottish national identity, from Burns Clubs to children’s books and from postcards to tourist’s guides of Burns Country.