Photo of Bill Auld
Bill Auld.

Nearly 5,000 books in and about Esperanto are available to consult in the Special Materials Reading Room.

These books are from the library of William Auld, a leading Esperanto scholar, a prolific translator of literature into Esperanto, and a major Esperanto author.

His generous donation makes the National Library of Scotland into one of the world's major centres for Esperanto studies.

Rare early publications in Esperanto

Esperanto is the international language created by L L Zamenhof in the 1880s, which is now used by communities across the world as a neutral means of communication.

A verse of Burns in Esperanto
First verse of Robert Burns's 'Address
to the haggis' in Esperanto.

The collection contains books printed in countries as diverse as Japan, Latvia, Albania and Vietnam. There are some extremely rare examples of early publications in Esperanto, starting from 1887.

However, there are also modern publications, including scientific books, children's books and literary translations, which show that the language continues to develop.

The collection also contains extensive runs of serials, which are not yet listed.

Relevant to Scottish culture

Addressing an Esperanto congress in the 1960s
Auld addressing an Esperanto
conference in the 1960s.

Many of the books are relevant to Scottish culture.

There are Esperanto translations of works by writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Walter Scott and Robert Burns, as well as original Esperanto fiction and poetry by Scottish writers, including William Auld himself.

A number of the books come from other Scottish Esperanto libraries such as the Edinburgh Esperanto Society.

Further reading

Boulton, Marjorie Boulton. 'Zamenhof: Creator of Esperanto'. London, 1960. (Shelfmarks: NF.1328.e.31, Auld.392).



Rare Book collections page