Illustration (detail) from The Works of The Ettrick Shepherd: Poems and Ballads. Blackie & Son, Edinburgh.
A decision to collect Scottish Poetry, including material relating to Robert Burns, was taken when The Mitchell Library was founded in 1877. Now containing over 12,000 volumes, it brings together all editions of the works of Scottish poets, as well as anthologies, biographies and critical and historical studies.
Highlights of the Scottish Poetry Collection
The Gardyne Collection : a collection of about 400 volumes of Scottish poetry but which also includes editions of The Bible and the works of John Bunyan. The Mitchell Library's Scottish Poetry Collection owes much to Alexander Gardyne, who was a prolific collector and made copious notes on the poets. Gardyne's donations added more than a thousand titles to the Scottish Poetry Collection and also many peripheral works such as Alexander Ross's Virgilii evangelisantis Christiados, a life of Christ using the vocabulary and metre of Virgil's Aeneid. Many of Gardyne's books were purchased from the secondhand bookseller Daniel Sedgwick in London.
Jervise Collection containing over 2,000 items, best known for the ‘Provincial Poets' series and strong in Scottish history and topography. This was the collection of the Brechin antiquary and author, Andrew Jervise, F.S.A. Scot. (1820-1878)
Wallace and Bruce Collection, bequeathed by the Rev. J. F. Miller of Millerston, with over 200 books, including 23 lives of Wallace and a set of editions of ‘Blind Harry's Wallace', both in its original form and a modernised version produced by the Hamiltons of Gilbertfield.