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This weeks Friday Gem is an intriguing item from the Special Collections Department at the University of Glasgow. The collections they hold have been built up over a period of 500 years amounting to over 400,000 items. Among these items is a particularly special rare first Edinburgh edition of Burns’ Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect embellished with manuscript notes and poems penned by the poet’s own hand.

Alas, this particular Edinburgh Edition is on loan at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, and you can see the extensive story and images of it here. Onto the Friday Gem…

Can you guess what it is?

Well, it turns out to be an advertising calender from 1897 issued by the Glasgow based Leggat Brothers Printers. Unusually, this particular calender was found in the back of a large bound printed work of The Forth Bridge. The printed work itself is highly decorative and includes illustrations of the monument in Glasgow Necropolis of Robert Burns, his cottage and the Burns’ family bible.

As you can see from the amazing detail of the images below, this is a highly decorative item which represents the length and breadth of Burns enduring image.

My thanks go out to all the staff at Special Collections who helped me in gaining access to this fascinating item. If you want to find out more about this item, then click here.

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