Edwin Morgan Archive

Scope and Content

The collection includes books published by Morgan, those he contributed to such as poetry anthologies, and those that were part of his library at the University of Glasgow. It also consists of journals and newspapers that included his poems and translations as well as essays, interviews, and reviews by him and about his work. Many of the books and journals are annotated or corrected by Morgan or are accompanied by handwritten notes, mainly to his bibliographer Hamish Whyte. The broadsides include poster poems and advertisements for his readings and theatre productions. The ephemera in the collection also consists of fliers, adverts, and programmes for his readings at various events such as festivals and conferences. The ephemera also includes catalogues listing Morgan's works for sale, press releases for Morgan's publications, and a photo album. The audio and video files consist of Edwin Morgan’s readings, discussions, musical collaborations, and documentaries. The artefacts include Edwin Morgan’s desk, typewriter, a framed drawing, and a bottle of absinthe.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edwin Morgan was born in Glasgow on 27 April 1920, the only child of Stanley Lawrence Morgan and Margaret McKillop Arnott. He began his studies at the University of Glasgow in 1937 but he took leave of his studies to serve in the Royal Army and Medical Corps during the Second World War, returning to his studies in English Language and Literature in 1946. Thereafter, he began working in the University's English Department where he earned in 1975 an appointment to a Titular Chair. Alongside his teaching responsibilities, Morgan published numerous works as well as contributed his poetry and translations to anthologies and journals. He is renowned for his translations and for his concrete poetry. He worked tirelessly editing anthologies, judging competitions, giving poetry readings, writing book reviews, as well as working on musical and theatre productions. He has achieved an international standing for his work and has received the Cholmondeley Books Award, Scottish Arts Council Book Award, the Hungarian PEN Memorial Medal, the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and several honorary degrees. In 2004, Morgan was appointed as Scots Makar by the Scottish Parliament.

The Edwin Morgan Archive website is at http://www.edwinmorgan.spl.org.uk/.


Organized into six series:

  • Books;
  • Periodicals;
  • Audio and video files;
  • Ephemera;
  • Broadsides;
  • Artefacts.

Access Information

Open to all researchers. No reader's ticket is required but an appointment is necessary.

Acquisition Information

The Edwin Morgan Archive was acquired by the Scottish Poetry Library with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund from Hamish Whyte, whose relationship with the poet as his friend, bibliographer, and publisher allowed him to gather the collection from the 1970s onward.

Other Finding Aids

A finding aid is available in the repository

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

132 boxes

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Lisa Murphy.


Further accruals are expected.

Personal Names