Follow in the footsteps of Robert Burns – @natlibscot

mapDetailed maps of the routes taken by the poet Robert Burns on his celebrated journeys around Scotland in 1787 have been produced by the Library.

Burns was at the height of his powers at the time and kept a journal detailing the places he stayed and the people he met along the way, along with reflections on Scottish society, history and culture.

The journal and the accompanying maps have now been published in a joint project between Glasgow University and the Library.

Professor Nigel Leask of Glasgow University said the journal and maps “offer us an insight into the life of a poet who was operating at the peak of his powers and reaping the benefits of his new found fame.”

View maps


Game of Crowns : The 1715 Jacobite rising


Treachery, power struggles, royal in-fighting and religious wrangling are all reflected in ‘Game of Crowns’ — the winter exhibition at the National Library of Scotland.

The exhibition tells the story of the 1715 Jacobite rising as the 300th anniversary approaches. Using contemporary records, books, maps, portraits and songs, it explains this turbulent period of British history.

‘Most people will know bits and pieces of the history of the time but may be less familiar with the full story,’ said Robert Betteridge, the curator who has worked on ‘Game of Crowns’. ‘What we hope to do is paint a picture of what Scotland was like at this time.’

One of the documents on display will be the order for the massacre of Glencoe, when 38 members of the clan MacDonald were slaughtered because of their suspected Jacobite sympathies.

The exhibition looks in detail at the period from 1688 to 1715, showing how the Stuarts were removed from the throne and replaced by the Hanoverians, and the fierce contest for the Crown of Great Britain.

Defeat in the 1715 rising was not the end of the Jacobite story, and the exhibition closes with a look ahead to the attempt of Bonnie Prince Charlie to reclaim the throne for his father.