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Writers' Museum, The

Located in the 17th Century Lady Stair's House off the Lawnmarket in Edinburgh, the Writer's Museum is dedicated to the lives and works of Scotland's greatest writers. A small municipal museum, it tells the story of the city's literary connections and contains a variety of artefacts relating to poet Robert Burns (1759-96) and authors Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 94), as well as some of Scotland's other noted writers. Burns had lodged nearby, while Scott and Stevenson were natives of the city.

The museum houses a sizeable collection of memorabilia and manuscripts relating to these authors, including perhaps the most extensive R.L. Stevenson collection in Britain. There is a reconstruction of the dining room in Sir Walter Scott's house in Castle Street in the New Town and a printing press which once belonged to J. Ballantyne and Co., Scott's publishers who had their works behind the Canongate. Temporary exhibits relating to the work of other authors and artists are regularly displayed.

Lady Stair's house had been given to the city in 1907 by Archibald Primrose, the 5th Earl of Rosebery (1847 - 1929). It opened as the city museum in 1913, although the majority of the collection was transferred to Huntly House (now the Museum of Edinburgh) in 1932. The Museum of Childhood was also located here between 1955-63. It remains the responsibility of the City of Edinburgh Council.

Outside the museum is Makars' Court, which celebrates the work of Scottish authors through quotations set into slabs amongst the paving.


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