Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century

Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century

Please click here for our project blog, audio downloads of Burns's song, exclusive online features, details of events and much more: Project website

The Centre for Robert Burns Studies recently secured a major AHRC research grant to produce a multi-volume edition of Robert Burns's work, which will be published by Oxford University Press.

The project, 'Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century', began in 2009, the 250th anniversary of the poet's birth, and will take at least 15 years to complete.

In January 2011 the Centre was awarded the equivalent of £1.1 million by the Arts and Humanities Research Council towards producing the first volumes of the edition:

  • Burns's Prose, edited by Nigel Leask, Regius Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow.
  • Burns's Songs for George Thomson, edited by Dr. Kirsteen McCue, who is Co-Director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies.
  • Burns's Songs for James Johnson, edited by Murray Pittock, Bradley Professor of English Literature also at the University of Glasgow. 

 "The funding, along with the Oxford University Press contract, marks a seismic shift in Burns studies"
Professor Gerard Carruthers speaking to The Scotsman, 21st February 2011.

The Future Burns Bright:

The 'Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century' AHRC grant will enable the Centre for Robert Burns Studies to:

  • Establish a major innovative website including social networking with the wider global community.
  • Commission, record and upload recordings of Burns's songs to support the OUP edition.
  • Host a number of events including conferences, performances, key-note lectures, symposia and exhibitions.

The AHRC project, 'Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century', will be looking at new ways of editing texts and implementing digital media as part of the edition. It is hoped that the use of social media in this project will build a community of interest, researching well beyond the academy. One aim is to make this community more aware of the intellectual choices lying behind the final OUP edition of the works of Robert Burns.


General Editor

  • Prof Gerard Carruthers

Editorial Team

  • Prof Nigel Leask
  • Dr Kirsteen McCue
  • Prof Murray Pittock

Research Fellows

  • Dr Pauline Mackay (2011-13)
  • Dr Ralph McLean (2013-2015)
  • Dr Vivien Williams (2013-2016)
  • Dr Gerard McKeever (2014-2016)

Editorial Advisory Board

  • Prof John Barrell, University of York
  • Prof Robert Crawford, University of St Andrews
  • Prof Leith Davis, Simon Fraser University
  • Prof Penny Fielding, University of Edinburgh
  • Prof Stephen Gill, University of Oxford
  • Prof Brean Hammond, University of Nottingham
  • Prof Colin Kidd, University of St Andrews
  • Prof Alison Lumsden, University of Aberdeen
  • Prof Jerome McGann, University of Virginia
  • Prof Jon Mee, University of York
  • Prof Liam McIlvanney, University of Otago
  • Prof Martin Prochazka, Charles University Prague
  • Dr Alan Rawes, University of Manchester
  • Prof Michael Rossington, University of Newcastle
  • Prof Patrick Scott, University of South Carolina
  • Prof Fiona Stafford, University of Oxford

Past Members

  • The late Prof G. Ross Roy, University of South Carolina