Scottish Poetry Library

  (Redirected from The Scottish Poetry Library)

The Scottish Poetry Library was founded in 1984[1] by poet Tessa Ransford. It originally had two staff members, including Scottish poet, Tom Hubbard, and 300 books, but has since expanded to some 30,000 items of Scottish and international poetry.[1] The library contains material in Scotland's three indigenous languages: Scottish Gaelic, Lowland Scots, and English.

Scottish Poetry Library, Crichton's Close, Edinburgh

The library is involved in Scotland's virtual reference scheme, Ask Scotland, where users can "Ask an Expert" online. Reference questions posed via the Ask Scotland website can be referred to a member of staff at the Scottish Poetry Library. This service has been available since 2011.[2]

The buildingEdit

Since 1999, the library has been based at 5 Crichton's Close, just off the Canongate in Edinburgh's Old Town. The library building was designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects, and was shortlisted for Channel 4's "Building of the Year" in 2000.[3] It has been described as "a poem in glass and stone",[4] and was included in Prospect magazine's 2005 list of the 100 best modern Scottish buildings.[5]

2015 refurbishmentEdit

In 2015, the library underwent a £500,000 refurbishment[6] and was closed to the public for six months. The library was reopened on 28 October 2015 by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop and National Poet of Scotland Liz Lochhead. The changes mean the library has more space for books as well as a soundproofed space to allow teaching and workshops to take place alongside study.[7]


  1. ^ a b "The Scottish Poetry Library". Scottish Arts Council. Retrieved 30 April 2008.
  2. ^ Ask Scotland Archived 2 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 3 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh". Retrieved 27 April 2008.
  4. ^ "Scottish Poetry Library". Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature website. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2008.
  5. ^ New Design in Historic Settings (Report). Historic Environment Scotland. 2 May 2016. p. 17. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Scottish Poetry Library reopens after £500,000 revamp". BBC News. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Scottish Poetry Library reopens after major refurb". The National. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2020.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 55°57′05″N 3°10′41″W / 55.9514°N 3.1781°W / 55.9514; -3.1781