Robert Burns most famous work – “Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect” was published in Kilmarnock by printer John Wilson in 1786. Popularly known as the “Kilmarnock Edition”, a limited number of books were printed and although a few survive they are rare, valuable and not generally accessible to the public.

The Burns Monument Centre however houses a unique 3 dimensional digitised representation of the Kilmarnock Edition that not only reproduces the text exactly, but also has a selection of poems sung and narrated. Visitors to the centre can now see the Kilmarnock Edition exactly as it was printed more than 200 years ago and can hear the poems narrated by Billy Kay, the celebrated Ayrshire author and linguist and fine performances of the songs “Now Westlin Winds, and Slaught’ring Guns” and “It was upon a Lammas night” by Rod Paterson.

View the online version of the Kilmarnock Edition here

This ground-breaking project has been carried out in collaboration with the National Library of Scotland.


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