With 32 libraries in local communities across Glasgow as well as the iconic Mitchell Library, Glasgow Libraries proudly provide a free library service to its citizens and visitors.  The Mitchell Library is one of Europe’s largest public libraries, with over one million items of stock, and an iconic city landmark.  When The Mitchell opened in 1877, one of the earliest decisions of the library committee was to put together a collection of items relating to Robert Burns as a memorial to Scotland’s national poet.  Our Robert Burns Collection contains more than 5,000 items, and it is believed to be one of the largest in the world.


Collection Highlights

  • over 900 editions of the works including two copies of the 1786 Kilmarnock edition and two printings of the 1787 Edinburgh edition
  • 15 original manuscripts in the poet’s hand, including the only surviving letter written by Burns in Scots. and the only copy in existence of ‘The Ordination’
  • translations of the works into more than 36 languages
  • ephemera, artefacts and scrapbooks
  • a complete set of The Burns Chronicle


Material from the collection can be consulted during library opening hours.  For more information or to arrange a visit, contact Special Collections.  The Burns Room may also be hired for special events and meetings.

Contact Us: Special Collections, Level 5, The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow, G3 7D


Fax: 0141 287 2935


0141 287 2932
Glasgow Libraries