Edwin Morgan Scrapbooks

The Special Collections Department holds a significant and extensive archive of the distinguished Scottish poet, Edwin Morgan (1920-2010). The papers include scrapbooks, correspondence and handwritten drafts of poems. Morgan had a long association with the University of Glasgow, studying English here and teaching in the Department of English Literature until his retirement as titular professor in 1980. In 1999 Morgan became Glasgow's first Poet Laureate, he received the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2000, and was named the first Scottish national poet - The Scots Makar - in 2004. The University's thriving Creative Writing Centre is named after him.

Morgan began compiling scrapbooks in the 1930s and continued to add to them until the 1960s. He saw them as combining biographical detail (what he as a poet had noted in living through three turbulent decades), together with cultural commentary (how the social and scientific world had altered during that period) and an aesthetic dimension. We have digitised some examples from these scrapbooks and, in the words of James McGonigal, who has written the accompanying essay, "it may be useful to open at least some of those 3600 pages of the scrapbooks to a virtual gaze."

The following pages investigate the context, purpose and content of Morgan's scrapbooks and their importance to him as a creative outlet. Go to next section Scrapbooks: Origins

A number of images have also been added to a flickr set with further commentaries by James McGonigal.