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The items listed in this catalogue were almost all taken from the G. Ross Roy Collection of the University of South Carolina's Special Libraries Division. While particular attention was paid to works entirely by MacDiarmid in the selection of works to be displayed, the Roy Collection is rich also in works edited by MacDiarmid, or to which he wrote introductions or contributed essays or poems. It contains virtually the whole of the MacDiarmid canon, with significant variant issues of major works. and two important series of presentation inscriptions of books presented by MacDiarmid to his wife, Valda Trevlyn, and to Ross and Lucie Roy. This exhibition, the first from the Roy Collection's MacDiarmid holdings since 1992, charts MacDiarmid's influence from the 1920's through to the 1960's, by juxtaposing a selection of his own works with representative items from other Scottish writers whom he knew. In addition to MacDiarmid himself, the exhibit has works by John Buchan, R. B. Cunninghame Graham, Violet Jacob, Helen Cruickshank, Lewis Spence, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Edwin Muir, Sorley Maclean, Douglas Young, George Bruce, Robert Garioch, Hamish Henderson, Sydney Goodsir Smith, Alexander Scott, Norman MacCaig, and Tom Scott. Interspersed with the books are photographs of MacDiarmid with the writers displayed. But all of the poets represented in this exhibition revolve around Hugh MacDiarmid whose genius towers over the twentieth century. He not only made Scottish vernacular poetry acceptable, he made it great. Special features of the exhibit include copies of MacDiarmid's early books inscribed to Dr. Roy, and a 1941 bust of MacDiarmid by the Scottish sculptor Benno Schotz. Other notable items are the are editions of MacDiarmid's work printed at the Officina Bodoni, and the proof and inscribed first copy of the very first MacDiarmid item printed by Duncan Glen, before he started Akros Publications.


This catalog accompanied the December 2006-January 2007 USC Libraries exhibit, Hugh MacDiarmid & Friends. The exhibit was drawn from the Libraries' G. Ross Roy Collection.