Happy World Book Day!

World Book Day is a UNESCO designated worldwide celebration of books and reading. As these are two of my favourite things, I thought I’d take this opportunity to give you a quick overview of museums in Scotland with a literary connection.

There are a number of places with a Burns connection, including the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Burns House (Dumfries), Burns House Museums (Mauchline) and the Robert Burns Centre (Dumfries). It’s not all about the Bard though.

The Writers’ Museum in Edinburgh is dedicated to the lives and works of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, as well as featuring other writers in their temporary exhibitions.

Abbotsford House, Melrose, was the home of Sir Walter Scott. Not only did he live in this house, he also designed it.

Dunbeath Heritage Centre, Caithness, has connections with Neil Gunn, author of many books. Dunbeath Water features in his novel “Highland River”.

The Glasgow Women’s Library has works by a whole range of women writers, not only fiction and poetry.

Brownsbank Cottage, Biggar, was the home of the poet Hugh Macdiarmid and his wife Valda. It has been restored to the way it was during their stay. Writers-in-residence have included Matthew Fitt and James Robertson.

Kirriemuir Gateway to the Glens Museum includes JM Barrie in its coverage of the town’s history. Kirriemuir is the birthplace of the creator of Peter Pan.

Surgeons’ Hall Museum, Edinburgh, has connections with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who studied medicine in Edinburgh. Joseph Bell, former teacher of Conan Doyle and the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, went on to become President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

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