£1 Million research boost for Burns research


RESEARCHERS have been awarded £1 million to continue their research project into the works of Robert Burns.

The university of Glasgow received the money from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for the second part of its project entitled: “Editing Burns for the 21st century”

The project, which is estimated to take 15 years, has received the second instalment of its grant, which will fund the next five years of the project.

The university’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies were awarded the first instalment of £1.1 million in 2011.

Professor Gerard Carruthers, general editor of the Oxford Edition of the works of Robert Burns, said: “This is tremendous news and we are delighted to have had our funding application granted.”

The funding will conclude in three volumes of Burns correspondence and 2 of poetry, the Oxford handbook to Robert Burns as well as a comprehensive ‘world class website’ on the research into Burns’ work.

The professor added: “This project is fundamental to the understanding of the writings that Burns left behind.”

The award follows an Oxford University Press (OUP) contract secured by the university in 2009 to produce the work.

When asked about the worth of more research into Burns Dr David Hopes, the director of the Robert Burns Birthplace museum in Ayrshire said: “The scope of the Editing Burns project is very much welcome since it will include much more primary material – principally manuscripts and books – than any previous study.”

Since his death in 1796 there has been ‘few rigorous academic research projects of this type’ on Robert Burns work and the forms it takes.

Dr Hopes said: “This should result in new insights, many of which will be brought out in critical essays.”

The project is expected to be completed in 2026.

By Michael Gallacher

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