Writers’ Museum

Submitted by George Farquhar on Tue, 2011-04-19

The Writers’ Museum celebrates the lives of three great Scottish writers – Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Visitors can see portraits, rare books and personal objects including Burns’ writing desk, the printing press on which Scott’s Waverley Novels were first produced, and Scott’s own dining table and rocking horse.

We have Robert Louis Stevenson’s riding boots and the ring given to him by a Samoan chief, engraved with the name ‘Tusitala’, meaning ‘teller of tales’. There is also a plaster cast of Robert Burns’ skull, one of only three ever made. Even if you’re not a bookworm, it’s well worth a visit.

The Writers’ Museum occupies historic Lady Stair’s House, built in 1622 by an Edinburgh merchant burgess. Its name remains associated with Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Stair, an early 18th century owner. The building was gifted to the City in 1907.


The Writers’ rich collections include books, manuscripts, portraits and fascinating personal items relating to Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. Highlights include Burns’ writing desk, Scott’s rocking horse and Stevenson’s riding boots and ring.

We have a first edition of Scott’s novel Waverley and Stevenson’s beloved classic, A Child’s Garden of Verses. Manuscripts include Burns’ draft of Scots wha hae (‘Bruce’s Address to his troops at Bannockburn’). There is also the press on which Scott’s Waverley Novels were printed, a chair used by Burns to correct proofs at William Smellie’s printing office, and Stevenson’s wardrobe made by the infamous Deacon Brodie whose double life may have inspired the novel The strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Robert Burns Collections

The rise of Robert Burns (1759-1796) from ‘ploughman’ to poet and darling of Edinburgh society is the stuff of legend. The Writers’ Museum holds an outstanding collection of personal objects, published works and manuscripts relating to one of Scotland’s best-loved poets.

Robert Louis Stevenson Collections

This collection at the Writers’ Museum evokes the adventurous life of one of Scotland’s best-loved writers. It includes portraits and photographs, personal possessions and books, as well as treasures from Stevenson’s travels.

Sir Walter Scott Collections

The Writers’ Museum holds an fascinating collection of items relating to the great Scottish writer and poet Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). These range from a printing press and rocking horse to published works.

The Literary City: Makars’ Court

Makars’ Court takes its name from the Scots word for a poet or author. This peaceful public space lies next to the Writers’ Museum. Beautifully inscribed flagstones celebrate Scottish writers from the 14th century to today.

Visitor Info:

Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm;
Sunday 12pm – 5pm (during the Festival only).
(Shop: Monday to Saturday 10am – 4.45pm; Sunday 12pm – 4.45pm during the Festival only)

Website: http://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/Venues/The-Writers–Museum.aspx

‹ The Museum of Childhood up Royal Scottish Academy › Similar of ‘Writers’ Museum’

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