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Established in 1989, the G. Ross Roy Collection of Robert Burns and Burnsiana at the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library is one of the world's foremost collections dedicated to the study of Scotland's greatest poet. Of the approximately six thousand items described in this catalogue, the largest sections are works by Burns and items of Burnsiana. These include not only separate editions of the poet's major works but also editions with distinctive bindings and variants. Among the notable highlights is one of only two known first-edition copies of The Merry Muses of Caledonia (1799) and the only one with a complete title page. Also detailed are landmark collections of Burns, including the exceptionally rare Kilmarnock edition (1786) and the 1787 Edinburgh edition. The collection includes as well Burns's annotated copy of John Moore's novel Zeluco and a copy of The World with more than sixty ascriptions and comments in Burns's hand. The catalogued Burnsiana features almost every book-length study of the poet as well as numerous pamphlets and books with significant sections about Burns. Among the collection's manuscripts described in the catalog is the song "Lesley Bailie—A Scots Ballad" (1792), the only known copy in Burns's hand. And the most unique artifacts of realia seen here are Burns's porridge bowl and horn spoon, inherited by Roy from his grandfather. This illustrated catalogue of the collection's expansive holdings was published in 2009 on the occasion of Burns's 250th birthday as a guide to the current collection for researchers and collectors alike.

Several hundred new items have been added to the Roy Collection since the publication of this catalogue in 2009. To search the current holdings of the Collection search University of South Carolina Columbia Rare Books & Special Collections.


Compiled by Elizabeth Sudduth with an Introduction by G. Ross Roy.

Published by the University of South Carolina Press in cooperation with the Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina.