Literature & writers

12 key Scottish plays 1970-2010

12 key Scottish plays 1970-2010

Introducing 12 of the major plays and major playwrights of Scotland. See images from theatre productions and related archive material.

An Comunn Gàidhealach

An Comunn Gàidhealach

Items from 1891 onwards published by An Comunn Gàidhealach, which organises the annual Royal National Mòd.

Chapbooks printed in Scotland

Chapbooks printed in Scotland

Small cheap booklets sold on Scotland's streets were essential reading material for the masses in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Edinburgh characters by J Jenkins

Edinburgh characters by J Jenkins

Edinburgh celebrities and unknown characters in coloured caricatures produced by J Jenkins between 1799 and 1805.

Getting started with Shakespeare

Getting started with Shakespeare

Resources to help school pupils understand some of Shakespeare's works by exploring scenes and characters or writing sonnets.

Marjory Fleming

Marjory Fleming

Read the diary, letters and poems of Marjory Fleming, adored in Victorian times, who died aged 8 in 1811.

Morall fabillis of Esope the Phyrgia

Morall fabillis of Esope the Phyrgia

'Aesop's Fables' put into Scots by 15th-century poet Robert Henryson, who lived in Dunfermline. This edition printed in 1571 in Edinburgh.

Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark

Using material from her personal archive, we tell the story of the life and career of one of Scotland's greatest novelists, Dame Muriel Spark.

Paddy Leigh Fermor's 1933 travel diary

Paddy Leigh Fermor's 1933 travel diary

Read the journal written by Patrick ('Paddy') Leigh Fermor when he travelled on foot around Europe in 1933.

Phoebe Anna Traquair

Phoebe Anna Traquair

Examine in detail Traquair's exquisite illuminated manuscript of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 'Sonnets from the Portuguese'.

Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect

Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect

Read page by page the first published collection of poems by Robert Burns, known as 'The Kilmarnock edition', printed in 1786.

Publications by Scottish clubs

Publications by Scottish clubs

Historical texts from the 12th-19th centuries, edited by Scottish clubs, including manuscripts, church records, diaries, legends and literary texts.

Rare items in Gaelic

Rare items in Gaelic

Books, pamphlets and chapbooks printed in Gaelic between 1631 and 1900. Includes songs, poetry and religious books.

Robert Burns

Robert Burns

The life, work and legacy of Scotland's Bard, together with fascinating detail about original material in the Library's collections, and short song clips.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson

A biography of story-teller and poet Robert Louis Stevenson, along with digitised early editions of 'Kidnapped' and other works.

Rolls of honour

Rolls of honour

Scottish listings of casualties and those who died while on active service during the First World War.

Shakespeare collected

Shakespeare collected

View early editions of William Shakespeare's plays. Create a digital Shakespeare scrapbook and add your own images and text.

Shakespeare quartos

Shakespeare quartos

There are 17 of William Shakespeare's plays in these 31 books, printed in quarto format between 1600 and 1639.

The Auchinleck Manuscript

The Auchinleck Manuscript

Middle English language and literature as Chaucer would have known it, contained in this rare document, with a full transcription.

The write stuff

The write stuff

Modern Scottish writers — among them J K Rowling, Liz Lochhead and George Mackay Brown — through the lens of photographer Gordon Wright.

Wee Windaes

Wee Windaes

This site charts the continuum of the Scots language in printed form, from the 15th century to the present day.

Works by selected Scottish authors

Works by selected Scottish authors

Out-of-copyright Scottish poetry, prose and children’s stories from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.