The Writers' Museum
Free Entry | Donations Welcome
The Writers’ Museum celebrates the lives of three giants of Scottish Literature – Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Home to portraits, rare books and personal objects including Burns’ writing desk, the printing press on which Scott’s Waverley Novels were first produced, and the rocking horse he used as a child. We have Robert Louis Stevenson’s riding boots and the ring given to him by a Samoan chief, engraved with the name ‘Tusitala’, meaning ‘teller of tales’. There is also a plaster cast of Robert Burns' skull, one of only three ever made.
This free museum is easy to locate just off the Lawnmarket, the top part of Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, in Lady Stair’s Close.
With a wide range of stories and objects this museum has something for everyone to enjoy, whether young or old, local resident or visitor. You don’t need to have read these writers’ works to enjoy the fascinating life stories told in the Writers’ Museum.
Please note that due to staff changes the Writers’ Museum collections enquiry service is temporarily suspended from 13 August 2018.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to resuming normal service as soon as possible.
The Writers’ rich collections include books, manuscripts, portraits and fascinating personal items relating to Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. Highlights include a first edition of Scott’s novel Waverley and Stevenson’s beloved classic, A Child’s Garden of Verses. Manuscripts include Burns’ draft of Scots wha hae (‘Bruce’s Address to his troops at Bannockburn’). There is also the press on which Scott’s Waverley Novels were printed, a chair used by Burns to correct proofs at William Smellie’s printing office, and Stevenson’s wardrobe made by the infamous Deacon Brodie whose double life may have inspired the novel The strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
The rise of Robert Burns (1759-1796) from ‘ploughman’ to poet and darling of Edinburgh society is the stuff of legend. The Writers’ Museum holds an outstanding collection of personal objects, published works and manuscripts relating to one of Scotland’s best-loved poets.
This collection at the Writers’ Museum evokes the adventurous life of one of Scotland’s best-loved writers. It includes portraits and photographs, personal possessions and books, as well as treasures from Stevenson’s travels.
A fascinating collection of items relating to the great Scottish writer and poet Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), raning from a printing press and chess set to an inkwell and published works.
Outside The Writers' Museum you will find Makars' Court: a peaceful public space with beautifully inscribed flagstones which celebrate Scottish writers from the 14th century up to the present day.
Makars’ Court is the perfect place to unwind, reflect on the talents of Scotland’s wordsmiths and soak up the atmosphere of this historic quarter of the Royal Mile. Makars’ Court is an evolving national literary monument, with new stones added regularly.
Download our comprehensive access guide to find out how you can get to and around the The Writers' Museum.
For all accessibility enquiries please contact the venue on:
+44 (0) 131 529 4901
Diana Morton - Outreach and Access Manager
A little treasure right off the hustle and bustle of the royal mile. A must. Jeri, Tripadvisor