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Collecting Robert Burns on his 250th Birthday

January 25th, 2009 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. Celebrations are currently taking place all over the world, from poetry recital competitions to Burns Suppers to an attempt at setting a world record for the largest toast to the poet.

Special Collections’ Robert Burns Collection contains a wide variety of printed material from other significant Burns anniversaries, including the centenary of Burns’ death in 1896 and the bicentenary of his birth in 1959. Programs from special events, souvenir pamphlets, and popular literature about Scotland’s Bard are interesting cultural artifacts which provide evidence of Burns’ popularity and the ways in which his life and works were interpreted over the past centuries.

At this time, Special Collections is striving to collect not only scholarly works published to coincide with the Burns 250th anniversary, but ephemeral productions as well. We are also launching an exhibit of items from the Burns Collection, entitled “Robert Burns and the Poetic Image,” which will be on display on the main floor of the Harold B. Lee Library starting this weekend.

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