The ‘Kilmarnock Edition’ by Robert Burns is one of the most famous books in world literature. Around 600 copies were printed by John Wilson near Kilmarnock Cross in 1786. Kilmarnock’s Dick Institute contains a working replica of Wilson’s printing press.

Manuscripts and rare editions are held throughout East Ayrshire’s venues. The Burns House Museum houses manuscripts, interactive and traditional exhibits. The museum is situated in the cobbled streets of Mauchline where Robert Burns lived and worked between 1784 and 1788, years considered the most creative of his life. It was also in Mauchline where he met and married his great love Jean Armour.

The Burns Monument Centre and the Dick Institute hold the Burns Collection and the McKie Collection. These are vast collections of books, pamphlets and fascinating Burnsiana that have been collected by individuals (for example Kilmarnock printer James McKie) and libraries over two centuries.

Much of our Burns material is available to view on the Future Museum website. Use the link on this page to visit the site.