The Andrew Tannahill Fund for the Furtherance of Scottish Literature

The Andrew Tannahill Fund for the Furtherance of Scottish Literature

The Andrew Tannahill Fund for the Furtherance of Scottish Literature was established in 2006 by Dr Mabel Tannahill, herself a Glasgow graduate, in memory of her father Andrew Tannahill (a descendant of Robert Tannahill, the Paisley poet).

The generous endowment of £50,000 has allowed us sufficient credit to work in a number of different ways, to push the subject of Scottish Literature further in scholarly, research-based, educational and teaching-based activities, and in support of contemporary creative writing. In an era when the arts are so often seriously neglected or trivialised, this is a remarkable opportunity to highlight and develop the work the arts can do, crucially in education and creativity.

History of the Fund

The Tannahill Fund was established by Dr Mabel Tannahill, a graduate of the University of Glasgow, in memory of her father Andrew Tannahill. It was launched with a handsome publication of his selected poems, songs and translations, A Tapsalteerie Touer (Kettillonia). This may be purchased from Kettillonia publications. The launch, resoundingly supported by the then Principal, Sir Muir Russell, preceded the first of a series of lectures marking the initiation of the celebrated Robert Burns Centre at Glasgow University and endorsed the connections between Burns's eighteenth-century and Andrew Tannahill's twentieth-century work as popular and politically-engaged song-writers.

The University was delighted to learn that Dr Tannahill has made a further provision in her will to support the fund. A bequest of £100,000 will enable the fund to continue to grow and flourish. Dr Tannahill commented:

'The establishment of the fund gives me great joy while in this world, while the financial benefits can be added to post mortem!' Dr Mabel Tannahill

How the Fund has helped Scottish Literature

The Andrew Tannahill Fund has made a large number of contributions to a variety of causes. Over the years, The Tannahill Debates at the annual Aye Write! Festival held at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow, have included 'Remembering Iain Banks' in 2014, 'On Scottish Literature, the Arts and Independece' in 2013, and 'On Hugh MacDiarmid and Scottish Literature' in 2012. The Tannahill Lectures at the National Library of Scotland have included lectures by Dr Ken Calman on Scottish Literature and Medicine (2013), and Dr John Purser on Scottish Literature and Music (2011), among others.

The Fund makes a number of Glasgow University bursaries each year to students researching Scottish Literature; for example, Muriel Spark, the library of Walter Scott, the lives of medieval Scottish saints, and George Mackay Brown.

The Fund has also subsidised the following events, publications or works:

  • Norman MacCaig Centenary Celebration in Assynt (2010)
  • Alasdair Gray Conference, University of Brest (2012)
  • ‘Between’ Conference, University of Gdansk, Poland (2014)
  • BOSLIT, National Library of Scotland (2014)
  • The International Companion to Edwin Morgan (2015)
  • The Hunterian Poems (2015)
  • Orcadians: Seven Impromptus by George Mackay Brown, illustrated by Simon Manfield (2016)


For funding, applications should be sent to Professor Alan Riach (, Scottish Literature, 7 University Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QH. There is no standard application form, but applicants should provide as much information as possible about themselves, their project, estimated overall costs and what, specifically, the amount applied for would be spent on.