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Manuscripts of Works by Sydney Goodsir Smith

This page lists highlights of Edinburgh University Library's collection of literary manuscripts by Sydney Goodsir Smith.

For a fuller listing, see Related Links at the foot of the page.



The Sydney Goodsir Smith Papers include working materials for the following volumes:

  • The Wanderer and Other Poems (1943), signed proof (Df.5.90/12)
  • Under the Eildon Tree (1948), galley proofs (Gen 1756)
  • So Late into the Night (1952), TS (Gen 1957/11)
  • The Vision of the Prodigal Son (1960), TS (Gen 1764)
  • Kynd Kittock's Land (1965), MS, corrected TS, TS with notes for screenplay, and broadcast script (Gen 1760)
  • Collected Poems (1975), TS of 'Foreword' (E2005.27/1)

Individual Poems

There are notebooks containing drafts of poems for the period 1932-1946 (Gen 1752-1754) and manuscripts or typescripts of the following poems:

  • 'The Refugees' (1940), TS (E2000/15)
  • 'For my Newborn Son' (1942), MS (Gen 1957/10)
  • 'To Li Po in the Delectable Mountains of Tien-Mu' (1950), 8 corrected TSS (Gen 1770)
  • 'Said Heraclitus' (1954), corrected TS (Gen 1764)
  • 'The Twa Brigs' (1964), MS, 2 corrected TSS and radio script (Gen 1759)
  • 'To Hugh MacDiarmid: On Yet Anither Buffday Occasion' (1967), MS poem, 2 corrected TSS, and radio script (Gen 1771)
  • 'This is My Own, My Native Land' (1971), TSS of 2 submissions for Johnnie Walker Scots Poetry Competition (E2005.27/1)
  • 'Clair de Lune: From the French of Paul Verlaine', 'The Death of Herod the King', 'Heartsease and Rue', 'Twilight' (all undated), TSS with MS corrections (E2005.27/1)
  • ‘The Little Odyssey of Ou Tis’ (undated), 5 corrected TSS (Gen 1768)
  • ‘Winter’ and ‘Three Men Make a Revolution’ (undated), working drafts (Gen 1775)


There are working materials for the following plays and radio or television dramas.

  • Ishmael, or, Ye Gods and Little Bitches (1946), corrected TS (Gen 1755)
  • The Rout of Spring, or, The Merry Life and Dowie Death of Colickie Meg, the Carlin Wife o’ Ben Nevis (1949-50), MS (Gen 1758), corrected TS (Gen 1762), revised TS (Gen 1763)
  • The Wallace (1960), actor’s prompt copy (Gen 1774), galley proofs (Gen 1765)
  • Full Circle, or, The Stick-Up (ca. 1961), 3 corrected TSS and TV script (Gen 1766)
  • The Mask of Minos (ca. 1964), corrected TS (Gen 1772)
  • The Prince in Skye (undated), 2 carbon copies of TS (E2005/27/1)


At Gen 1761, there is a manuscript of Sydney Goodsir Smith's novel Carotid Cornucopius (1947), with a typescript of the preface by Hugh MacDiarmid. At Gen 1769, there are notes, galley proofs, page proofs, and a selection of 'Carotidiana'.


  • 'Introduction' to Gavin Douglas: A Selection from his Poetry (1959), TS with MS corrections (E2005.27/1)
  • 'The Predicament of Poetry Today', MS and TS of talk given to the St Andrews University Literary Society, 3 March 1948 (Gen 1757)


At Gen 1767, there is a typescript verse translation of The Twelve by Russian poet Aleksandr Blok, which Sydney Goodsir Smith eventually published as 'The Twal' in his collection Figs and Thistles (1959).

MSS in Other EUL Collections

There are important Sydney Goodsir Smith manuscripts in other Edinburgh University Library collections, including typescripts of Under the Eildon Tree sent to Hugh MacDiarmid and Maurice Lindsay.


Further Details

The above are highlights of Edinburgh University Library's extensive collection of Sydney Goodsir Smith manuscripts. For a fuller listing, see the Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue and the manual Index to Manuscripts held in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Library.

Related Links