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Book, 'The British Album'


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The British Album

During Burns' residence in Dumfries his closest friend was John Syme. They went on a tour of Galloway, and in June 1793 Syme lent Burns a book of poetry, 'The British Album'. The 'Album' was popular in its day, but the verses it contained soon went out of fashion, and only this copy is likely to hold much interest for the modern reader. For while Burns had possession of the book he wrote in it several poems and other notes, which were only published in full for the first time in 1940! Some of these were radical in sentiment, a potentially dangerous political act at the time.
Image Rights Holder:
National Burns Collection
Book, 'The British Album'
Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) (poet)
John Syme (1755 - 1831) (friend of Robert Burns)
Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) (poet)
Ewart Library, Dumfries & Galloway
Burns' copy of the 'Album' is held in the collection of the Ewart Library, Dumfries. The Ewart Library, founded in 1904, contains a well stocked Reference and Local History Department with many Burns titles. Burns himself had donated books to Dumfries Public Library from its inception in 1792 and some of these volumes formed the original stock of the Ewart. Today, staff are at hand to guide the researcher through a wealth of Burns material.