The Walter Scott Research Centre was established in 1991 in order to facilitate the work of the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels.

The main work of the edition was completed in 28 volumes in November 2009 and the final two volumes of the notes Scott wrote specifically for the 1829-33 edition of the Waverley Novels were published in 2012. In its time it was the biggest literary project in the UK and was directed and organised from Aberdeen. Several members of staff at Aberdeen (Dr J. H. Alexander, Professor David Hewitt, and Professor Alison Lumsden) were then engaged on it but it was international in its scope. Some fifteen editors have been involved, three research fellows, eight consultants, ten research students, and many editorial assistants. Over £350,000 was raised in research grants. To date over 100,000 volumes of Scott’s fiction have been purchased in Edinburgh Edition texts.

For more information about individual volumes and how to purchase them see

The Centre has now embarked on a critical edition of Walter Scott’s Poetry to be published in ten volumes over the next ten years by Edinburgh University Press. This project is led by Professor Alison Lumsden.


Purpose and Aims

The Walter Scott Research Centre exists to conduct and to promote research into Scott and his works, the intellectual world in which he grew up and on which he drew, the contexts in which he worked, and the ways in which his work was used by other writers, other arts, business and politics, particularly in the nineteenth century. Its interests are interdisciplinary and its scope is international.

The Walter Scott Research Centre is primarily engaged in project research, but also supports the research activity of its individual members and facilitates the study of Scott at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The Walter Scott Research Centre is located within the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture at the University of Aberdeen.

Aberdeen is also home to the Bernard C. Lloyd Collection of Walter Scott Materials, purchased with a grant of £209,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2002. Assembled over many years by Bernard Lloyd it is possibly the finest collection of print materials related to Scott in the world. It contains nearly every edition of every work written, edited or contributed to by Scott and many materials which reflect Scott’s impact on other art forms such as drama, opera and graphic novels.

The collection lends itself to work on the afterlives of Scott, adaptations of his work, book and publishing history and on the transnational dissemination of Scott’s work and influence, and the Centre is happy to receive proposals for doctoral studies in these fields.

All items in the collection can be found with the shelf mark WS in the Library Catalogue

Research Projects

The Centre’s main projects are in the field of textual editing and a 30 volume edition of Scott’s fiction, the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels, was completed in 2012 under the direction of Professor David Hewitt. The Centre is now engaged in editing a 10 volume edition of Scott’s Poetry under the leadership of Professor Alison Lumsden. The first volume of the new edition will appear in 2017 and is Marmion, edited by Ainsley McIntosh.  The Shorter Poems, edited by Gillian Hughes and P. D. Garside, Poetry from the Waverley Novels and Other Writings, edited by David Hewitt, and The Lady of the Lake, edited by Alison Lumsden will appear over the next few years.

Professor Alison Lumsden is Honorary Librarian at Abbotsford, Scott’s home in the Scottish Borders. She is currently leading a project in collaboration with Abbotsford and Professor Gerard Carruthers of the University of Glasgow to explore the intellectual and cultural significance of Scott’s magnificent chapbook collection. This project is funded by the RSE.


The Centre is based on the Old Aberdeen campus in F18, Old Brewery. Professor Lumsden can be contacted at 01224273925 or at


To keep up to date with our activities, join our Facebook Group:

Interview with Profeesor Alison Lumsden about the Poetry Project:

Listen to Professor Alison Lumsden speak about Scott: