Delivery and message from the basement!

March 2, 2009

This morning we took delivery of the biggest box I’ve ever seen. If you took the trouble to cut a door in it, a couple and their three children could have lived comfortably inside! Well, perhaps not. But it was so large it wouldn’t fit through the door. We stood around mystified: our new photocopier? A washing machine gone awry down Crichton’s Close? Once some of the outer swaddling had been dispensed, and it was manhandled safely in, we discovered it to contain special storage boxes for our Edwin Morgan Archive.

Meet Lisa, SPL’s Edwin Morgan archivist:

“H. Another complimentary – for your archives! E. 7-8-1985.” –  from Edwin Morgan to his friend Hamish Whyte inscribed in A Second Scottish Poetry Book and just one example of the range of materials that now make up the Edwin Morgan Archive which I am cataloguing at the SPL.

Books, of course, make up a majority of the items, which is unusual since an archive usually consists of unpublished materials. It’s the inscriptions however, by Morgan, and the accompanying correspondence that makes these published works unique. It’s far from  just a collection of poetry: it also comprises works of fiction from his personal library or works that he contributed to, including the Celebrity Cookbook to which he added a recipe for fish and chips!

The materials in this special collection also include journals, newspapers, audio and video files, posters, ephemera, and even Morgan’s desk and typewriter. I even get to sit at his desk and work but I think I will stick to using a computer and not his typewriter…

An admiring welcome for Edwin Morgan's Bluebird typewriter

An admiring welcome for Edwin Morgan's Bluebird typewriter from Lizzie, Julie and Jane

2 Responses to “Delivery and message from the basement!”

  1. […] about the archive have been squinted at, shuffled and signed off. This fabulous new typewriter, EM’s preferred mode of communication, has been acquired for the leaving of thoughts on the archive, and we’ve been indulging in […]

  2. […] week we’ve received so many deliveries of an Edwin Morgan Archive nature that we’re on first name terms with couriers the country […]

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