American gift restored Burns manuscripts to Scotland

Page illustration with Robert Burns portrait in it

The story of Robert Burns's Glenriddell Manuscripts is a tale in two parts spanning two continents.

Written in the 1790s when the poet lived in Dumfriesshire, the two volumes contain the largest single collection of Burns's handwritten poetry and letters in the world.

In 1913, there was public outcry when this treasure was sold to an American buyer and made its way across the Atlantic.

Fortunately for Scotland, the volumes were then bought by Burns enthusiast John Gribbel, who in 1914 gifted them to the Scottish nation. Gribbel also took legal steps to prevent the manuscripts from ever being sold again.

A display at the National Library of Scotland celebrates the centenary of this generous gift.

Read more in our treasures display press release.

23 January 2014

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