Local & special collections

Our libraries have a number of local and special collections which are held at the Dick Institute and Burns Monument Centre, Kilmarnock.

The Burns Collection

The collection contains works by Scotland's national bard Robert Burns, books about his life and the Ayrshire area. There are also some foreign translations of his works. The main collection is housed in the Burns Monument Centre and some titles are held at the Dick Institute, Kilmarnock.

The Keir Hardie Collection

Housed within the Burns Monument Centre, this collection contains works about James Keir Hardie. East Ayrshire Leisure’s museum service can also provide access to the Keir Hardie Collection which was gifted by the Keir Hardie family to the Baird Institute, Cumnock.

The Boswell Collection

This collection of books is by and about the Boswell family of Auchinleck, focussing particularly on James Boswell (1740-1796), lawyer, diarist, author and biographer of Samuel Johnson. The main collection is housed in the Dick Institute as part of the Ayrshire Collection.

The Buchanan Bequest

Donated by the Buchanan family from their former Kilmarnock home, Bellfield House, the collection contains over 100 titles dating from 1759 to 1856. The books are mostly held at the Dick Institute as part of the Ayrshire Collection. The museum in the Dick Institute also holds a number of items from the Buchanan Bequest.

The Braidwood Collection

This collection of over 50 titles is made up of mainly religious texts, although there are some poetry books and reference works. The collection is housed at the Dick Institute as part of the Ayrshire Collection.

As part of our commitment to maintaining a Scottish fiction reserve, we collect works by and about John Galt and William McIlvanney. Both collections form part of the Ayrshire Collection at the Dick Institute.