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Norman MacCaig Papers

The Norman MacCaig Papers (Coll-69) include manuscripts of all MacCaig’s major poems and correspondence with other important Scottish writers.

There are chronologically arranged manuscripts or typescripts for over 1,000 poems written between 1947 and 1992, together with working materials for all of MacCaig’s collections of verse from Riding Lights (1955) onwards. Other manuscript materials include scripts for talks and radio broadcasts, book reviews, and notes on many literary subjects. Writers discussed by MacCaig include major Scottish figures such as George Mackay Brown, Hugh MacDiarmid, Edwin Muir, Iain Crichton Smith, and Sydney Goodsir Smith, as well as many important British, American, and European poets.

There are letters from Hugh MacDiarmid, Neil Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Edwin Muir, Tom Scott, Iain Crichton Smith, and Sydney Goodsir Smith. There is also correspondence from broadcasting corporations and publishers, including letters from Andrew Motion and Mick Imlah in their capacity as Poetry Editors at Chatto & Windus. Finally there is a good deal of secondary critical material on MacCaig, literary tributes to MacCaig (including a poem by A.S. Byatt), and a number of personal documents (passports, birth and marriage certificates, school and university certificates, Conscientious Objector’s Card, engagement diaries, address books, and many photographs).

The MacCaig Papers are an invaluable resource not only for MacCaig scholars but also for any researcher with an interest in the development of 20th-century Scottish writing or in relations between some of Scotland's major writers.

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MacCaig in Other EUL Collections

There is further material of MacCaig interest in other EUL collections of Scottish literary manuscripts, including manuscripts of poems sent by MacCaig to Hugh MacDiarmid and Hamish Henderson, letters from MacCaig to Helen Cruickshank, Hamish Henderson, Maurice Lindsay, Hugh MacDiarmid, Sydney Goodsir Smith, and Fred Urquhart, and critical materials on MacCaig by George Mackay Brown and Hugh MacDiarmid.

MacCaig's Library

Edinburgh University Library also holds 139 books from the private library of Norman MacCaig. There are inscribed copies of works by fellow poets such as Hugh MacDiarmid, Seamus Heaney, and Sydney Goodsir Smith. The books are all catalogued online as part of Edinburgh University Library's Main Catalogue (at shelfmarks SD 9008-9155).