Seven-year search culminates in new Scott catalogue

A unique catalogue goes online today which documents for the first time the locations of almost 14,000 letters from or to one of the 19th century's most renowned and prolific writers. During his lifetime, Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was famed throughout Europe as the author of nearly 30 novels and a series of long romantic poems. With political and social interests ranging far beyond his Scottish homeland, he was also an enthusiastic letter-writer, whose correspondents included prominent politicians, scientists, painters, and actors.

Drawing of Sir Walter Scott

Many of Scott's letters survive, housed in more than 1,300 public and private collections all over the world - around 10,000 are in the National Library of Scotland - and the seven-year project to trace and list their whereabouts was one of dedicated investigation for Professor Jane Millgate of the University of Toronto.

The Library's collection of Scott manuscripts is arguably the finest and largest accumulation of such material relating to any one author held by any library, so it is appropriate that this comprehensive new resource should be made available by Professor Millgate via our website. The catalogue's search facility, created by the Library, is extensive, making it an invaluable tool for Scott scholars and admirers worldwide.

7 March 2003

Speak me