Research Projects

Research Projects

Scholarly Editions

Walter Scott MarmionThe Walter Scott Research 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 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 Edinburgh University Press

Building on this expertise the Centre is currently engaged in editing a 10 volume edition of Scott’s Poetry under the leadership of Professor Alison Lumsden. Two volumes in the Edinburgh Edition of Walter Scott’s Poetry have been published: Marmion, edited by Ainsley McIntosh (2018) and  The Shorter Poems, edited by Gillian Hughes and P. D. Garside A further five volumes will be published as part of the AHRC project The Edinburgh Edition of Walter Scott’s Poetry: Engaging New Audiences.

This project will also create a range of materials for schools based on and inspired by Scott’s poetry.

Partnership with Abbotsford, the Home of Walter Scott

The Centre works closely with Abbotsford, Scott’s home in the Scottish Borders. Professor Lumsden is Honorary Librarian for Scott’s library, which contains around 11,000 books placed where Scott left them,  and she is on the Board of the Abbotsford Trust. Recent collaborations include an RSE funded networking project to explore the significance of Scott’s chapbook and popular print collections.

We have also collaborated with Futurelearn to develop a MOOC "Walter Scott: The Man Behind the Monument". This runs most years and is free to join. To date approximately 6,500 learners from 118 different countries have joined us to find out about Scott. Find out more here.

For an example of the impact of our work with Abbotsford see Uncovering Walter Scott's Creative Inspiration.

You can visit an on-line exhibition on Scott’s chapbooks at Abbotsford here;

You can find out more about Scott’s home and his library here:

Listen to Professor Alison Lumsden speak about Scott: