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Archives and Special Collections: Sir Walter Scott

Collection information

Collection: Sir Walter Scott

Classmark: Scott collection

Biographical/administrative history:

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was a Scottish poet and novelist. He gained international recognition during his lifetime for reviving the image of Scotland through his novels and poetry. From an early age he was interested in the oral tradition of the Scottish Borders. His first novel, Waverley, was published  in 1814 and brought him fame (despite being published anonymously). He wrote many other novels which celebrated Scottish history and culture, all published by James Ballantyne in Kelso. In 1818 he was granted a Baronetcy by the Prince Regent.

In 1825, he became the victim of a banking crisis and lost a great deal of money which was invested in the Ballantyne printing business. After this, he wrote in order to pay off his debts. He died in 1832 at Abbotsford, the house he had had built in the Scottish Borders.

Contents: editions of Scott's works published during the author's lifetime.

Extent: approx. 150 volumes

Catalogue information

All of these books are listed in the online library catalogue.

Please contact us in advance of a visit by emailing

Additional collection information

Custodial history: The collection was donated to the Library by Burt Eddy Taylor of Michigan in the early days of the University.

Accruals: none expected.

Access conditions: Please contact us in advance of a visit by emailing

Language: English


Collection image

Scott's Life of Napoleon

Sir Walter Scott's Life of Napoleon (1827)

Using the collection

Archives Reading Room

Opening Hours:

10.00 am - 1.00 pm / 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Monday - Friday

Contact us:

Tel. 01786 466619


Please contact us in advance of your visit. Material can be ordered in advance by emailing us at