Craig Sharp, CRBS and the Kilmarnock Edition

Shortly after the establishment of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies in 2007, Craig Sharp gifted the Centre with a first edition of Burns’s Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, published by John Wilson in Kilmarnock in 1786. 613 copies of the book were originally printed; fewer than 90 still exist. 

As Burns’s first published volume, the Kilmarnock edition would change the poet’s life, launching him on the literary landscape of Scotland. It was also his chance to present himself to a new and wider audience, including those who would sponsor and support in him in the coming years as he sought to continue pursuing his poetic ambitions. 

The Kilmarnock edition is still hugely relevant to ongoing work in Burns Studies. In gifting the Centre for Robert Burns Studies with a Kilmarnock edition, Craig Sharp handed us the wonderful privilege of ongoing access to this important text and the basis for numerous strands of research, now and in the future. We remain hugely grateful for his generosity and support. 

Watch Prof Kirsteen McCue talk about Craig's relationship with the Centre for Robert Burns Studies, followed by two fascinating discussions with Professor Nigel Leask on the importance of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect for Burns, and with Dr Craig Lamont on his use of Craig's Kilmarnock edition within his project to construct a new bibliography of Burns in publication.

Craig Sharp's Kilmarnock Edition