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General Enquiries

Research Enquiries

The Centre for Robert Burns Studies

The Centre for Robert Burns Studies mission is the development of research, scholarship and teaching in the area of Robert Burns, his cultural period and related literature. The Centre and its associates has been research active in the area for a number of years. For all enquiries please email: RobertBurnsStudies (at) glasgow (dot) ac (dot) uk.

Dumfries Museum

There are Robert Burns related collections on exhibition at Robert Burns House and Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries, and Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum. There is further material in the reserve collections at Dumfries Museum. For all enquiries relating to these collections please telephone Dumfries Museum on 01387 253374 or email: dumfries (dot) museum (at) dumgal (dot) gov (dot) uk.

East Ayrshire

Requests for research and study access to items from East Ayrshire Council Cultural and Countryside Services’ Robert Burns collections should be made to the following:

Telephone: 01563 554902

E-mail: via the ‘Contact Us’ link on Enjoy East Ayrshire or via the ‘Contact Us’ link on Future Museum.

Mitchell Library

The Burns 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. To access Burns Collection material, you will need to bring proof of identification, showing name, address and signature, e.g. driving licence or electoral registration plus credit/debit card. We would request that, wherever possible, particularly if travelling from a distance, anyone wishing to access material from our Burns Collection should contact us in advance. A catalogue of the Collection is available.

Telephone: 0141 287 2988

Email: libraries (at) glasgowlife (dot) org (dot) uk

The National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland (NLS), the legal deposit library of the nation, holds significant collections of printed books and manuscripts of Robert Burns. Further details of the collection, and a digital facsimile of the Kilmarnock edition, are available via the Library’s website at:

Older printed books and manuscripts are read in the Special Collections Reading Room of NLS. One or two exceptionally significant items require specific permission for consultation (the Kilmarnock edition; the Glenriddell Manuscripts), but the collections are available to all readers in possession of an NLS reader’s card. Consult NLS website for details:

Enquiries about the collections should be sent to Kenneth Dunn: k (dot) dunn (at) nls (dot) uk.

National Museums Scotland

National Museums Scotland have two important objects, a pair of pistols which were given to Burns, on display in the Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. Also displayed are two letters written by Burns. In store is a variety of nineteenth-century Burnsiana, mostly ceramics and glass. Access is limited and enquirers should contact the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology in the first instance.

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum offers access to collections through research facilities at both the newly-opened Museum and at the research library at the Education Pavilion. Access is by appointment only and can be arranged by emailing burns (at) nts (dot) org (dot) uk or by phoning 0844 493 2601.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

The Library is open all day for visitors to enjoy the displays and browse a selection of publications. The research resources are available by appointment, Monday to Friday 10am-1pm and 2-4.30pm. Please telephone 0131 624 6407 or email pginfo (at) nationalgalleries (dot) org to make an appointment.

Writers Museum

Please note that the majority of our collection is on permanent display in the Museum. Researchers requiring access to the Writers' Museum collection can make an appointment via email: MuseumsAndGallaries (at) edinburgh (dot) gov (dot) uk.