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Robert Burns Lives!
The Mitchell Burns Collection: The Best in the World? By Gerry Carruthers


Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Dawsonville, GA, USA
Email: jurascot@earthlink.net

Gerry Carruthers is no stranger to the pages of this web site nor to Burnsians around the globe. I am always honored when he submits one of his articles for our readers and this particular one will be a treat for all. Susan and I have been to The Mitchell Library in Glasgow in days gone by, and I cannot recall if our small town basketball court in Mullins, SC was any larger than The Mitchell. Naturally we were impressed with the library, and I could very easy designate it the “Mother Library of Robert Burns”.

I have found Gerry’s scholarship to be of the highest quality. He is the author/editor of many books on Burns, four which grace the shelves of my library.  He co-edited Reliquiae Trotcosienses, “a guide to Abbotsford and to its collection”, with Alison Lumsden on Sir Walter Scott that I particularly enjoy and value since Scott was a hero of mine long before Burns. His book, Scottish Literature, is one every Burnsian should own since it deals topics like The Rise of Scottish Literature, Scottish Literature in Scots, Scottish Writing in English and Literary Relations: Scotland and Other Places.  Gerry’s research in all of the above is self-evident and places him among the top Scottish writers around the globe.

It has been a pleasure to work with Gerry on projects at the Burns Club of Atlanta and at The Centre for Robert Burns Studies at University of Glasgow. I must admit I was overwhelmed and honored over a year ago when I was invited to become a member of the Centre’s Business Board.

With great pleasure, once again, I present Dr. Gerard Carruthers!

This is a version of a talk delivered by Gerry Carruthers at The Mitchell Library, Glasgow, 23rd February 2012.

The Mitchell Burns Collection:
The Best in the World?

By Gerry Carruthers


Dr. Gerry Carruthers speaking at the Burns Club of Atlanta in November 2011. Photo by member Keith Dunn.

My title asks whether the Mitchell Burns collection is the best in the world. Let me begin by ducking the question - although I will come back to this - and say, it is a unique collection. And by unique collection, I do most certainly mean that as a term of praise. Sometimes things are unique because no-one else wants them! There are things in this room that would make the dedicated Burns collector or fan, salivate! And I’ll mention some of these treasures presently.

An indispensable guide remains to the Mitchell collection remains the ‘Robert Burns Collection Catalogue’ first compiled for the bicentenary of the Bard’s birth in 1959, and updated for the bicentenary of the death in 1996 by the late great Joe Fisher, a man’s whose kindness and intelligence were very much appreciated by several generations of Glaswegians seeking out the wisdom contained in this great library.

The Catalogue tells us that the core of the Mitchell Burns Collection is formed by 700 volumes bought from James Gibson of Liverpool in 1882. Now this is significant not only due to the obvious fact that the library is founded in the late nineteenth century, albeit that the oldest part of the current edifice dates to 1911, but because this purchase represents a wider phenomenon: and that is that the period from the 1880s-1920s is the highpoint of Burns ‘collection’. The Mitchell might simply have bought collected works: poems, songs, letters, prose and some other material: criticism, biography, even a little ‘memorabilia’ (or ‘Burnsiana’ as it was described in the 1959 catalogue). And that would have been more than enough for the public in general. The Mitchell went much further however, by buying 700 volumes, expanded to around 5,000 items in the Burns collection today (so including some hundreds that are not included in the 1996 catalogue).

The idea of having a Burns Collection begins in the Victorian period – this is when values for Burns materials – books, manuscripts & memorabilia begin to become serious. This is partly to do with the rise of consumerism in the latter half of the nineteenth century and also a sufficient period to have elapsed for Scotland to be more or less unequivocally proud of THE BARD. Related to this, Burns becomes ever more seriously an object of serious scholarly investigation.  

Let’s think about some of the highlight. Burns’s first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect published in 1786. There are, according to the calculations of a gentleman doing a census from Florida, around 72 or 73 of these volumes still in existence. That’s out of an original 612. The ‘Kilmarnock’ is the crowning jewel of a Burns collection. The Mitchell has 2!   Just to give us some idea of monetary value, the ‘Kilmarnock’ edition over the past decade has sold for anywhere between 30 & 80,000 pounds depending on provenance or association and condition. The second of the Mitchell’s ‘Kilmarnock’s has a missing original title and contents pages, but would still easily fetch upwards of £30,000 were it to go on sale.

Burn’s 2nd – ‘Edinburgh’ edition of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect published in 1787 is an item of which the Mitchell has 7 copies, out of an original 3,000 plus produced. Not so rare, you can buy one of these for a couple of thousand pounds upwards. Not only this, but the ‘Edinburgh’ has two separate ‘issues’: notoriously one of these in ‘To A Haggis’ has ‘stinking ware’ in the text instead of the correct ‘skinking ware’. The Mitchell has two ‘stinking’ copies. The ‘Edinburgh’, issues 1 & 2 both, is or are the next cornerstone, after the ‘Kilmarnock’, of a Burns Collection. This library has also three copies of the expanded 1793 ‘Edinburgh’ edition and two of the new edition of 1794. So that’s pretty much the crucial books of poetry published during Burns’s lifetime covered. The other item here for Burns completists is the songs collected and written by Burns and published in James Johnson’s The Scots Musical Museum (1787-1803) – so stretching half a dozen years beyond the poet’s death by the time the sequence is complete. The Mitchell has one complete set of the original, two sets of volumes 1-5, and the late eighteenth century reissue dedicated to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Also there are the Kilmarnock and Edinburgh volumes and Scots Musical Museum. Many Burns collectors have spent their whole lives trying (often unsuccessfully, sadly) to complete this set.

For me, the fourth cornerstone for the serious collector of printed Burns work is the first ‘Collected’ works and full-length ‘biography’ of Burns, James Currie’s four volume The Poetical Works of Robert Burns (1800). The Mitchell has 2 sets; and also numerous subsequent editions – and not only editions but a huge array of the ‘Works’ published all across the globe which cannibalize the ‘Currie’ edition.

So far, there is no single collector who can match up to the Mitchell in terms of printed ‘editions’, 1786-1800, or in a sense 1786-1830s, which remains the period when the ‘Currie’ is dominant. At this point we can say, certainly, the collection is the best in the world.  I’ll be turning my attention to producing a new edition of Burns’s Poems in the next few years for our Oxford University Press edition, and the first port of call for me in terms of printed books during Burns’s lifetime is The Mitchell – there is no better place in the world to begin that research into general ‘stemma’ – the poetry-texts and how these develop across different publications during Burns’s life-time (and beyond).

One of the advantages that the Mitchell has over the National Library of Scotland or the British Library is that these copyright libraries automatically receive everything published in the British Isles. The Mitchell does not, of course, and so has to be proactive. In terms of Burns – first of all building on James Gibson’s collection, which contained crucial overseas editions including the first American edition – published in Philadelphia in 1788, this has meant the library being proactive in seeking out (sometimes being gifted) foreign edition of Burns. There are a couple of dozen US editions of Burns’s work, or Burns ‘Americana’ if you like, bested only by the more extensive American holdings of the Thomas cooper Library at the University of South Carolina, and rivalled to some extent by the collection of the central freemasonic lodge in Washington City, USA. The Mitchell also has important holdings in European editions of Burns, some nineteenth but many twentieth century, and also translations into 32 languages (according to the catalogue, but 36 or 37 in actual fact). The 32 are: Belorussian, Bashkir, Bohemian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, ‘English’ (not sure about that one!), Esperanto (it gets worse!), Faroese, French, Gaelic, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese, Rumanian, Russian, Slovakian, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss German and Welsh!

Let’s turn to manuscripts. The Mitchell has nothing like the collections to be found at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh University Library, the Pierpont Morgan in New York, the Rosenbach in Philadelphia, the Thomas Cooper Library in South Carolina, the Birthplace Museum in Alloway or, what is for me the most breath-taking collection of all: that at Dean Castle Country Park, where the Burns Federation also has its headquarters. However, what it does have is a number of superb items – manuscripts for ‘Auld Lang Syne’ – I think the last major (6 figure!) purchase made by the library, a couple of poems and a few songs. Poems include ‘When by a gen’rous public’s kind acclaim’ and ‘The Ordination’, one of Burns’s most important Kirk satires. I’ve spoken at length in this venue previously about the latter: ‘The Ordination’ is a remarkable document in local church politics. The manuscript shows Burns working on a kind of propaganda. It is a remarkable text because it shows Burns against ‘the people’, unfairly castigating the Kilmarnock weavers for wanting to choose their own minister. This is Burns the defender of Patronage, or Lairds choosing ministers. It is one of two manuscript versions recorded – I don’t know where the other one is. And James Kinsley the last editor to properly edit the complete poems seems not to have used The Mitchell version. The penny has only dropped for me recently that this manuscript has not properly been worked upon – we’ll do so in the new OUP edition. 

The other song manuscripts in Burns hand are ‘O poortith cauld, and restless love’, ‘Thou whom chance may hither lead’ and ‘Yestreen I had a pint o’ wine’. That’s a nice new flat or sports car you could buy if you were to sell these!

There are nine autographed letters in Burns’s hand: one on loan from Glasgow Life and two deposited by the Burns federation, for reasons I can’t claim to understand. All of these are significantly important (each would probably fetch somewhere in the region of £6-9,000 if auctioned): and one Burns’s only extended epistolary performance in Scots, his letter to William Nicol of 1787, would most likely go for at least £15,000 and perhaps as much as  £30,000 if the Mitchell was daft enough, which it isn’t, to sell! This is a tour de force Scots prose performance by Burns. Have a look at it in an edition of his letters if you haven’t seen it, and marvel at what a brilliant writer Burns is! As a great lover of the Mitchell Library, as someone hugely indebted to its collections and staff over the years, I regard myself as a kind of ‘critical friend’, and I’d want to raise the question why the Mitchell does not enter into the market more often for the Burns manuscripts, especially letters that come on to the market. I assume the answer to some extent is that funds are tight. I know too that culture is one of the first things to be hit within local, civic institutions when times are austere. But we must never tire saying that ‘culture’ – literature, the arts, music, history etc. etc. – is not a luxury! It is about our identity, especially our local identity – in the case of the Burns collection, all of Glaswegian, west of Scotland (including Ayrshire!) and Scottish identity more widely; it perhaps even pertains, one might suggest, to our British cultural identity – Burns is, among other things, a great British Romantic writer, recognised as such the world over. He is, then, too a Global writer. Identity, our own sense of ourselves as a cultured people – fellow weegies!, fellow west of Scotlanders, fellow Scotlanders, fellow Britons, fellow human beings! Culture and the pride we take in it is also about our well-being, both physically and mentally – ‘man does not live on bread alone’ but also on our imaginative engagement with the community, with the world around us. That is what libraries are about – knowledge, often practical knowledge that is true, but imagined knowledge – poetry, the other arts that are as actually a part of our world as much as books, knowledge about car mechanics, flower arranging, or splitting the atom!  Libraries are about whom we are, individually and collectively; they are about the human world.  So all of that by way of an appeal to the Mitchell! Please buy, if possible, more Burns manuscripts. One of the places where we see the Mitchell not quite keeping track of the contemporary scene, and here again I hope I’m being a ‘critical friend’ is in its absence of Antique Smith manuscripts – Alexander Howland Smith – the man who was jailed for a year in 1893 for forging, among other writers and historical figures, the work of Burns. Antique Smith is now very collectible.

The library also has a fairly large collection of manuscripts in facsimile, which is very useful. And also a couple of important ‘Non-Burns Holographs’: Gilbert Burns’s Mossgiel farm rent-book and  Mrs Robert Riddell’s ‘Fragments’ manuscript volume (essentially Elizabeth Riddell’s commonplace book). Robert Riddell was Burns great friend during the Ellisland years in Dumfriesshire, until Burns committed some, seemingly drunken social faux pas, either against Elizabeth or one of the other female members of the Riddell household (one of the lowest moments in Burns’s life, leaving aside the death of loved ones). Not mentioned in the catalogue, is a very important manuscript collection: the letters of James Currie, Burns first editor that we’ve recently finished editing at the University of Glasgow (a very good piece of co-operation between the Mitchell and GU).

You see excellent though it is in so many ways, the printed Mitchell catalogue is now a bit problematic. As Joe Fisher makes clear in the preface to the 1996 catalogue based on the original 1959 one: ‘the method used was copied from the massive Memorial Catalogue of the Burns Exhibition, Glasgow 1898’ – And this was as more about EXHIBITING Burns rather than curating or cataloguing Burns. For the proper curation and cataloguing of the Mitchell Burns collection what we now need is a full electronic database management form of catalogue. So that for instance, this might still produce editions of Burns under place – very useful as this stands in the printed catalogue, but what is lost in this arrangement is chronology – a computer catalogue instead could produce all Burns editions published in 1822 or, indeed, all items of any kind – works, biography, criticism, published say in 1955. It is a very useful in the printed catalogue for instance that under manuscripts we find not only the manuscripts actually owned by the Mitchell but also important articles, pamphlets etc. on manuscripts elsewhere, including forgeries.  So the catalogue is attempting to be thematic –very useful, but that also creates short comings in a printed catalogue. Shortcomings, for instance, when ‘place of publication’ is an organising principle in the catalogue. What we don’t have, for instance, are all the Currie editions (there are about eight lifetime editions of Currie, the lifetime of Currie that is, and such material is scattered throughout the printed catalogue). This is partly because Currie is printed firstly in Liverpool, then later in London. We often need more than one tool for a job of course, and so when I use the Mitchell catalogue it is essential to use at least the J. W. Egerer Bibliography of Robert Burns produced in 1964, as well as at least one 19th century bibliography (and also these days the published catalogue of the G Ross Roy collection in South Carolina). But to a large extent, if the Mitchell Burns collection were to be computerised including notes cross-referenced with Egerer and to some extent perhaps with the Roy collection, this would make the world class collection here in this building so much more accessible. This would be a major digital humanities project that it would be wonderful to see the library undertake. It would require, of course, time (including full-time staff attention) and money (which would be worth a grant application to the Lottery Heritage fund). Here again I speak publicly as a positively critical friend!

I offered at the outset to reflect on some of the wider ‘cultural’ forces that have shaped the Mitchell’s Burns collection. I’m going to attempt that task a little bit now. As I’ve stated, the library’s holdings of the bard is built on the important foundation of the Victorian idea of Burns collecting. Not unrelated here, is Glasgow’s sense of itself as a great centre of culture. Many of the traces of Glasgow as a great centre of publication are gone, unfortunately, including the Foulis Press, printers to the University of Glasgow. At the ‘popular’ end of the market was the firm of ‘Brash & Reid’, one of the partners, indeed, William Reid was a personal acquaintance of Burns (a story has gone around that Burns offered his poems to Reid before publishing by subscription himself; we might, then, have been celebrating the ‘Glasgow’ first edition of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, rather than the ‘Kilmarnock’ edition, though myself I think the story is a bit dubious). When Burns is famous, Brash and Reid certainly make good money selling Burns’s work, especially in chapbook, or little pamphlet, form.  They also do a four volume set of the poetry, probably from 1795, though bibliographers are not entirely sure. The Mitchell has two of these sets. Now one thing I’ve seen is Brash and Reid chapbooks of poems and songs, sometimes including Burns along with other poets such as Robert Tannahill or James Hogg. These don’t register in the printed Burns catalogue though because they were presumably thought by James Gibson and by later curators at the Mitchell not to be worth collecting particularly. So such items come from other poetry collections held by the Mitchell. A shame a more systematic collection had not been made earlier of these. I saw recently in Oxford, Burns the chapbook ‘Address to the People of Scotland’ by Brash and Reid on sale for £1,600: these are now very collectible and tell us interesting things about the popular consumption of Burns. They were mass produced on pretty cheap paper – so they’re disposable and so, in some instances, comparatively rare. They would not be seen in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries however or forming a proper part of a ‘gentleman’s Burns collection’: because that is largely what Gibson’s 700 volumes represent.

In terms of pamphlets/single poems the Mitchell boasts a rare copy of the chapbook of Burns ‘Address to the Deil’ published in 1795 by which printer we cannot be entirely sure. On the other hand, absent from this library is the unofficial chapbook printing of ‘Holy Willie’s Prayer’ the only printing of the poem during the poet’s lifetime. It might seem ironic given Burns’s ‘folk’ and popular associations, but the Mitchell Collection for all some excellent subsequent collecting of chapbook materials shows, to some extent, the unfashionable nature of popular culture until comparatively recently (arguably until as late as the 1960s). Along with the Brash and Reid four volume edition, however, what we have is a magnificent set of Glasgow editions in the collection. We have the Blackie edition of 1843-44, which carries also James Currie’s biography of the poet along with an essay by the leading mid-Victorian Scottish critic of his day John Wilson, and also many notes. The 1840s-50 is a time when essay and notes and appendices build up around Burns editions, including sometimes Thomas Carlyle’s essay on the bard. In many editions in the mid-nineteenth century it becomes difficult to distinguish between the many voices in the one edition competing for the reader’s attention. The Blackie editions are like that. We also have the Bryce edition published in Glasgow, the Cameron editions – George, James, Cameron & Co and Cameron & Ferguson and another fifteen Glasgow publishers from the mid-19th to the early twentieth century, including, of course, William Collins. We have too the earliest Glasgow Burns editions – the Chapman & Lang of 1800, the Chapman and Lang and also the Thomas Duncan, both of 1801 –  these are, in effect, ‘added-to’ ‘Kilmarnock’ editions presumably intended to compete with the collected edition of Currie, whose 1st and 2nd editions appeared in 1800 and 1801.

The most notorious Glasgow printings of Burns are those by Thomas Stewart again coincided to compete with Currie’s first collected works – Poems ascribed to Robert Burns, the Ayrshire bard, not contained in any edition of his works hitherto published (1801) – the Mitchell has five copies – and also Stewart’s 1802 book which supplements its material with the correspondence of Sylvander & Clarinda, something that greatly alarms Clarinda, Mrs Mclehose, since this book is much more revealing than Currie’s edition about the relationship of the pair. The Mitchell has three copies and also has a rare 1803 pamphlet about Currie’s publisher’s Cadell and Davis and their action against Stewart at the Court of Session. Apart from the Stewart volumes the Glasgow editions tell us little about Burns we cannot find elsewhere, but they are, as I’ve indicated, testimony to the vanished vibrancy of the Glasgow publishing scene. What the Glasgow publications of Burns do however boast is a vast array of illustrations which in themselves would make for a fine research project on the reception and interpretation of Burns’s work.

In the twentieth century Burns pamphlets in general begin to be prized by the Mitchell; its collection becomes much more miscellaneous. An example here is the Glasgow pamphlet of 1903 – ‘Some Burns Collectors’. What we see from this point is a growing awareness of the cultural hinterland that exists for Burns studies – the ‘afterlife’ as it were, so that Burns collectors are an interesting phenomenon in themselves, and the cultural context of the 18th century itself, of Burns’s own times, so that the Mitchell acquires ‘Letter from a Blacksmith’, a publication of the 1750s that stands behind the inspiration of Burns’s poem, ‘The Holy Fair’. 

The attitude in the Mitchell from the early twentieth century that it will collect more or less anything concerning Burns that has just been printed has been a sound instinct – nothing much in that line is missed, and though that might mean adding some deplorable publications to the list, even these are part of the story: the lunatic fringe, the deluded, the frivolous, the downright fraudulent – authors in these categories all nestle together with the finest Burns biography and criticism in the Mitchell collection – they are all part of the story of Burns. And talking of the story of Burns, the Mitchell’s collection of biographies contains over two hundred authors on Robert himself, all the way from full blow book treatments of his life to phrenological pamphlets on the poet;  over sixty biographical items on Burns’s family; and close to another two hundred authors on Burns’ friends and contemporaries. The collection includes twelve fiction writers (or writers who know they’re writing fiction about the bard!) and 13 playwrights who treat Burns. There are around 140 poets who write poems about the poet – either in his lifetime, or subsequently. All the Burnsian inspired contemporaries are housed in The Mitchell – Janet Little, David Sillar etc. Not all of these are listed in the printed catalogue and if exploring you need to cross-reference or cross-check with the hugely impressive two-volume Scottish Poetry Collection [scarily existing only in hand-written form – another case for digitization!]. The Mitchell has now and has always had an excellent staff, but as so often in big libraries things have got a bit out of hand. I’ve mentioned the Gardyne collection of poetry and other material which is only catalogued in the most general sense. Lurking in the subterranean stacks here, I suspect, are all kinds of lost eighteenth and nineteenth century items which might re-emerge one day. Two things in particular for which I’m on the lookout are the collected poems of the Airdrie poet, William Yates – there seems to be no copy of this in existence anywhere. And also, if possible, the 1828 Belfast edition of Burns, which likewise seems to have vanished completely into thin air. At some point, a physical trawl of the shelves - for several weeks – looking at books and many bound together pamphlets and chapbooks would almost certainly bring rich rewards. That is me being a critical friend again!

It is interesting to see how bawdry is dealt with. I’ll come back to this in a moment, but this tack is prompted by another publication. The library might not have the 1789 chapbook version of ‘Holy Willie’s Prayer’ but it has an 1884 text of the poem printed for Kilmarnock Burns Club. Burns clubs are in existence from a few years of Burns death of course, and in the latter part of the nineteenth century, specifically from 1884 we have the foundation of the Burns federation, or the World Burns Federation as it is now. The Mitchell has of course a complete run of the often excellent Burns Chronicle, the scholarly organ of the Federation from 1892 down to the present day. This is another thing that the ‘average’ Burns collector can aspire to – a complete run of the Chronicle. Anyway, the Burns clubs are fruitfully productive of many other items of Burns publication over the past hundred and thirty years and the Mitchell has an expansive collection of these often highly useful publications. The previously all-male Burns clubs could enjoy publications like ‘Holy Willie’s Prayer’ and such as the Kilmarnock Club did in the 1880s, and bawdry material generally ought to be separated in a sense from ‘popular culture’. In Burns’s own day, The Merry Muses of Caledonia which the poet certainly collected in its original form, was something for the gentleman for the weekend! This perhaps explains the excellent collection of The Merry Muses under this very roof. It includes the ‘1827’, really the 1872 (indeed two copies of same), the privately printed Burns federation privately printed ‘edition’ of 1911 (two copies) in which Duncan McNaught attempts to prove that Burns had very little to do with the contents – talk about having your cake and eating it! The 1959 & newly legal 1965 James Barke & Sydney Goodsir Smith edition are there, as is the 1965 Legman and 1966 Randall editions. There is also the excellent G Ross Roy facsimile version from a decade back – based on the Roy collection volume – the only one of a handful of extant copies of the original of 1799 to contain a complete title page. No surprise that James Gibson didn’t have one of these – also no surprise that he DID have the so-called ‘1827’. I need to do some work on the original 700 Gibson volumes which form the rump of the Mitchell collection to determine the shape of a ‘gentlemen’s collection’ and also to be a wee bit more precise about the Mitchell’s acquisitions policy thereafter. A librarian of 1890 or 1920 or 1945, or a collector such as Gibson himself would be surprised that their own practices might become an object of investigation, but these are, indeed, a revealing part of cultural history, of book-history, in the present case of the history of the Mitchell Library.

In terms of criticism, the library has every major monograph, collection of essays etc. since the nineteenth century, especially from the first 1860s Regius Chair of English at Glasgow, John Nicholl to the current one, Nigel Leask. The Mitchell also has very good newspaper cuttings relating to Burns through the nineteenth century and into the last one. Likewise, it has some great sound recordings of Burns songs, but the collection here is very far from comprehensive. Arguably, neither of these last two things matter so much in this day and age of the web and internet when so much now is retrieved that way.

So what do we have under this roof? A print collection of Burns that is unsurpassed or, if at all, not by much and maybe only by the print holdings at the Thomas Cooper Library, South Carolina. It is wonderful that the world has both these collections. The Mitchell has a small but unique set of highly valuable manuscripts and Burns biography, criticism, translations and miscellanea that is as ‘great’ as anywhere in the world. It is truly a world-class collection, but there is a challenge ahead – the challenge, at the very least, to maintain and make it more accessible. The Mitchell is the greatest publicly, or most openly, accessible Burns Collection in the world. The Mitchell should not, says this enthusiastic, admiring ‘critical friend’, sit back – ideally it needs to collect more manuscript material as and when it can, and it needs to digitize its catalogue and maybe also begin digitizing its holdings too. The Mitchell, Glasgow, the west of Scotland, Scotland, Britain, Europe, the World has a treasure in this Burns collection – which needs to continue to shine out brightly and that requires continued hard work!


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