Scottish Poetry Library Acquires Edwin Morgan Archive

By Vicky Bigmore | 03 October 2007
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a photo of a desk with various pamphlets on it

Edwin Morgan’s desk for correspondence with a selection of publications from the Archive. © SPL

The Heritage Lottery Fund has given the Scottish Poetry Library (SPL) an award of £50,000 to acquire and develop an archive relating to Edwin Morgan, Scotland’s National Poet. The announcement comes just in time for National Poetry Day on October 4 2007.

Glaswegian Edwin Morgan is best known for his involvement with the Concrete Poetry Movement and has a strong international presence due to his wide range of poetry translations.

The archive will include an array of his works in print and other media, and significantly shows the large span of his work and the diversity in content and context.

a photo of an exterior of a builidng with steps leading up to two doors

The exterior of the Scottish Poetry Library. Photograph Keith Hunter

Although based in Edinburgh, the SPL will allow a lot of the items from the archive to be accessible to everyone online. Additionally, many items will be touring the country. Colin McLean, Manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scotland said: “Edwin Morgan’s poetry will be brought to life for people who may never come across him.”

Hamish Whyte - friend, publisher and bibliographer to Morgan - has been compiling the archive together for over 30 years. He said: “The SPL is the ideal home for the Edwin Morgan archive. It will be able to provide the right context.”

Edwin Morgan is an Honorary President of the SPL and supported it in various ways including donating a collection of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s works. Morgan’s support and complimentary poetry in comparison to Finlay’s gives the donation of his archive an even more apt place amongst the library’s exhibitions.

Find out more about National Poetry Day at www.nationalpoetryday.co.uk.

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