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Robert Burns Lives!
The G. Ross Roy Collection of Robert Burns, An Illustrated Catalogue
Compiled by Elizabeth A. Sudduth

Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Dawsonville, GA, USA

Elizabeth Sudduth and Dr. G. Ross Roy

G. Ross Roy has done it again! He has published another masterful book that will be used by scholars and laymen alike for years to come. The new publication was compiled by Elizabeth A. Sudduth with the assistance of Clayton Tarr. Sudduth is the head of Rare Books and Special Collections Processing and Services for the Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina and is very experienced in this field of work and publishing. This catalogue contains over 6,000 items on Burns. Written between the lines of this book is the story of a book collector’s dream – to build one of the world’s most significant libraries or collections on Robert Burns. Mission accomplished! 

Honor upon honor continue to be bestowed on Dr. Roy, America’s giant in the field of Scottish Literature and Robert Burns. The University of Glasgow will present an honorary degree to Dr. Roy this summer, and he holds another from the University of Edinburgh. He is an icon in this field of study and is still at work building the library in honor of Burns. Dr. Roy has no peer when it comes to collecting the works of Burns. Only one other library in the world, The Mitchell in Glasgow, has more books on Burns. Unlike the Roy collection, The Mitchell was not the dream of one man. Neither was it built in such a short time as the Roy Collection which was started in 1958, a mere 51 years ago.

Dr Ross Roy and Frank Shaw

Yet Dr. Roy is not a professional book collector. He has spent a lifetime doing other things as well – teaching on the university level, writing, speaking, and publishing. He has shared his knowledge on Burns and Scottish literature with students, the academic community, and to laymen like me. For over 75 years, since he was eight years old, his love for Burns has been a beacon to young and old alike. This wonderful octogenarian has devoted his entire life to Burns. He has, by example, shown so many of us, myself included, to have great appreciation and love for both subjects, and he has expanded the horizon for us all when it comes to Robert Burns. Yes, there is a giant among us, and he is G. Ross Roy.

What brings forth this outpouring on my part concerning this humble man? The new book does! The man himself does! The just-released book is part of the university’s 250th birthday celebration of Robert Burns. But that is not enough, a three day symposium is planned - ROBERT BURNS AT 250: An International Conference at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, April 2-4, 2009. Scholars and laymen alike will meet to talk about and continue their studies of the Bard.   

Listen to what others say about this book and the man behind it:

“This catalogue will be an essential handbook for all Burnsians, collectors, and researchers.” - Bill Dawson, president of the Robert Burns World Federation

“The internationally renowned Roy collection – the finest collection of Burns material outside of Scotland – is here documented in all its richness and diversity.” - Kenneth Simpson, honorary professor of Burns studies, University of Glasgow.

“Burns scholars will find this volume to be an invaluable guide to many rare and special materials, and all Burnsians will find much to engross them and educate them even as they merely peruse this publication.” - Gerard Carruthers, director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies and head of the Department of Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow

The Roy collection is dedicated to the study of Scotland’s greatest poet.  Among its many rare books is the exceptionally rare first printing of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect published in 1786 in Kilmarnock, Scotland. Any serious scholar or layman will want a copy of this new catalogue for their own Burns collection. Ross Roy himself has written the six-page introduction and the foreword is by the Dean of Libraries at the University of South Carolina, Thomas F. McNally.

This publication is available through Barnes & Noble. The online price is $59.95 with a Members’ discount price of only $47.96. ISNB 978-1-57003-829-7. Shipping is FAST & FREE according to Barnes & Noble.

(FRS: 3.24.09)

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