Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, was born in Alloway in 1759. A farmer's son, he rose to literary prominence in 1786 with the first collection of his poetry, which came to be known as the Kilmarnock edition. He died young, at the age of thirty-seven, but his legacy endures.
The Centre for Robert Burns Studies was established in July 2007. Its mission is the development of research, scholarship and teaching in the area of Robert Burns, his cultural period and related literature:
The aims of the Centre are:
◾to lead the development and coordination of research of excellence related to Robert Burns both in the UK and beyond;
◾to encourage Robert Burns Studies through publications, seminar series, colloquia, conferences, performance events and other meetings both in the UK and internationally;
◾to foster links with other institutions working in the area of Robert Burns Studies and housing significant collections of Burns material;
◾to establish and maintain a centre of excellence in postgraduate studies and early career research;
◾to broaden interest in Robert Burns Studies by inviting visiting lecturers and by encouraging academic and student exchanges both within the UK and globally.