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Andrew Gibson- we celebrate the man who gave Burns to Belfast!

Starting Friday 10 December the Linen Hall Library will celebrate the 120-year acquisition of one of its most important archives – the Gibson Collection of Burns and Burnsiana – with a week-long online homage to Andrew Gibson, the man behind the phenomenal collection. The online series of events is funded by the Ulster-Scots Agency.

Former Linen Hall governor and Burns collector Andrew Gibson is the man responsible in large part for the archive that is one of the largest, and most important, outside of Scotland. A week-long tribute to Andrew Gibson and the Robert Burns collection will run on the Linen Hall Library website – www.linenhall.com – from 13 – 20 December.

The line-up kicks off online on Friday 10 December at 7pm. Writer Angela Graham, who was recently awarded first prize in the Linen Hall’s inaugural Ulster-Scots language competition; actor and director Dan Gordon; and poet Stuart Paterson will lend their voices to virtual readings of Rabbie’s work, and local musicians will perform Burns-inspired pieces. Also on the night, Dr. Carol Baraniuk (University of Glasgow) will be in conversation with Mark Thompson, the presenter of BBC’s hit show ‘Hame’.

Then, each weekday from Monday 13 December – Monday 20 December the Library will drop on its website www.linenhall.com a video and blog exploring various fascinating facets of the Burns’ collection hosted by Scottish presenter and Burns enthusiast Alistair Heather.

Monday 13 December – A book about Robert Burns’ skull? Yes, it’s true. Today we scan the pages of Phrenological Development of Robert Burns published in 1834 in Edinburgh. It examines the landscape of the great Bard’s head to offer an explanation of his genius talent!

Tuesday 14 December – We explore the Scots Musical Museum which was a collaborative work between publisher James Johnson and Robert Burns. We hear Aberdeenshire folksinger Iona Fyfe perform a Burns’ ballad.

Wednesday 15 December – Mark Thompson, Ulster Scotsman, presenter and Scots language enthusiast picks out an early edition of poetry by James Orr who wrote in the Burns style. He tells Alistair Heather about the man and the work.

Thursday 16 December – Dr Paul Malgrati, Researcher at the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow dives deeper into the Gibson collection.

Friday 17 December – Len Pennie, Scots poet and activist discusses her relationship with Burns, and picks out the foreign language Burns editions from the Gibson collection for discussion.

Monday 20 December – Linen Hall Librarian Samantha McCombe pulls out some of the Burns gems in the Library’s Gibson Collection for a closer look.

What is the Gibson Collection? 
The Linen Hall Library’s Gibson Collection is one of the largest collections of material relating to Robert Burns outside of Scotland. Andrew Gibson, a former Governor of the Library amassed the incredible archive, which includes rare publications and items donated by the Burns family. In 1901, the Linen Hall Library acquired the collection for the city of Belfast, and 120 years later, it remains as impressive and important as ever. 

To book for the 10 December online launch event click here.

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For more information about the Gibson celebration or the Linen Hall Library please contact Rachel Wetherall, Head of Digital and Marketing Comms, at r.wetherall@linenhall.com or tel: 028 9032 1707.