Special and Named Printed Collections in the National Library of Scotland
GAEL TURNBULL COLLECTION
This collection comprises a major part of the working library of the poet, Gael Turnbull (1928-2004). The collection contains over 1,100 books, pamphlets and periodicals of poetry from Britain, Canada, United States, Australia and France. Many of the items in the collection are presentation copies from other poets. The Library has also acquired manuscript material, (Acc. 12552, 12554-6, 12476, 12477) including letters, diaries and typescripts. The collection features contemporary poets from both sides of the Atlantic (and Australia) including Basil Bunting, Cid Corman, Robert Creeley, Raymond Souster, Simon Cutts, Laurie Duggan and Louis Zukovsky. It is clear from the collection that from the beginning Turnbull recognised the talent of poets who have since become widely published and he continued to give encouragement and advice to up-and-coming new writers. The collection very much reflects Gael Turnbull's own cosmopolitan background. He was born in Edinburgh of a Scottish Baptist minister father and a mother from Minnesota of Swedish descent. He was brought up in Co. Durham, Blackpool and Winnipeg. He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and graduated in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1951. Turnbull practised medicine in Canada, the United States and England until 1989 before retiring to Scotland. In 1957 he started Migrant Press, one of the first British-run presses to focus on poets in the modernist tradition.