Preview the Burns National Collection touring exhibition

Burns portrait
Burns by Alexander Nasmyth,
(courtesy, Scottish National
Portrait Gallery).

A major exhibition being previewed at the National Library brings iconic Robert Burns material together for the first time.

The National Burns Collection is spread across several organisations in central Scotland, Ayrshire and Dumfries. 'Zig Zag: the Paths of Robert Burns' gives the public a chance to see highlights from the collection in one place.

Life, work and journeys

The interactive exhibition explores the life, work, relationships and travels of this famous Scottish son. It shows how Burns consciously created his own myth, and reflects his artistic paths as a poet, as well as his physical journeys round the country. Among key exhibits are:

Title page from Burns poetry volume
'The Kilmarnock
  • Letters and manuscripts of poems such as Tam O' Shanter
  • Paintings, including Alexander Nasmyth's iconic portrait of the poet
  • Museum artefacts, such as Burns's drinking horn (cup)
  • The first printed volume of Burns poems' — 'the Kilmarnock edition' of 'Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect'.

Burns anniversary

Next year is the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns's birth. It is also the year of Homecoming Scotland, a Scottish Government initiative. The Burns exhibition is one of the main attractions in the programme aimed encouraging people of Scottish descent to visit Scotland.

'Zig Zag' is at NLS until 1 February, before it starts a tour to three other venues. See our Burns exhibition page for more information.

7 November 2008

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