From 'makaris' to Makars: Scots literature in Special Collections

An exhibition focusing on the Scots language in print from the 16th century to the present day. Beginning with the ‘makaris’ or poets of the Renaissance, the selection highlights some notable Scots landmarks such as Robert Burns’s Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect, before proceeding to the works of modern-day ‘Makars’ or national poets. However, also included are obscurer items – some in Scots, others in English – all of which nicely illustrate the changing fortunes of the written word in Scots.

The exhibition was created in September 2011 to celebrate the prizegiving of the Scots words and place names Project (SWAP) Schools competition. The SWAP project uses social media to investigate language use in Scotland. The results of the project will be used to help inform and update new dictionaries of the Scots language.