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Sydney Goodsir Smith Materials in Other EUL Collections

There are many materials of Sydney Goodsir Smith interest in other EUL collections.

These include early manuscripts of some of Smith's major works sent to Hugh MacDiarmid, Maurice Lindsay, and Norman MacCaig; letters from Smith to Helen Cruickshank, Hamish Henderson, Maurice Lindsay, Norman MacCaig, Hugh MacDiarmid, and Tom Scott; critical writings on Smith by Norman MacCaig; and photographs by Gordon Wright. In the 'Jabberwock' Archive, there are materials related to Smith's campaign to be elected Rector of Edinburgh University in 1951.


George Mackay Brown (Coll-50)

  • Letter from George Mackay Brown to Smith, 7 December 1967 (Gen 1779)

Helen Cruickshank (Coll-81)

  • Letter, 27 November 1961, signed by Smith, Norman MacCaig, and Robin Richardson, inviting Cruickshank to subscribe to a portrait of Hugh MacDiarmid by R. H. Westwater (Gen 886/132)
  • Christmas card from Smith, undated (Gen 1966/31)

David Daiches (Coll-694)

  • Letter, 27 November 1961, signed by Smith, Norman MacCaig, and Robin Richardson, inviting Daiches to subscribe to a portrait of Hugh MacDiarmid by R. H. Westwater (E92.46)

Duncan Glen (Coll-1067)

  • 'MacDiarmid: A Specially Commissioned Poem by Sydney Goodsir Smith', transcript of radio broadcast marking Hugh MacDiarmid's 75th birthday, BBC Scottish Home Service, 11 August 1967 (MS 2186/2/6)

Hamish Henderson (Coll-1438)

  • 2 letters from Smith to Henderson, 21 November 1966 and undated (Gen. 1733/108-109)
  • Copy of letter, 21 November 1966 (E2013.07, Box 23, Folder 3)
  • 2 copies of a letter of recommendation for a student from Smith (E2013.07, Box 23, Folder 3 and Box 53, Folder 1)

The 'Jabberwock' Archive (Coll-1611)

MSS by Smith

  • ‘The World’s Winter’, TS of poem submitted to The Jabberwock (E2015.15)
  • ‘A Message from the Candidate’, TS of text for Smith’s campaign brochure when standing for the Rectorship of Edinburgh University in 1951 (E2015.15)

Correspondence Relating to Smith

  • Letter from Hugh MacDiarmid to Ian F. Holroyd, 17 October 1951, enclosing a message of support for inclusion in Smith’s rectorial campaign leaflet (E2015.15)
  • Letter from Compton Mackenzie to Holroyd, 19 October 1951, declining to send a message of support for Smith’s rectorial campaign, as two rival candidates have an equal claim on his loyalty (E2015.15)
  • Letter from Edith Sitwell to Holroyd, 23 October 1951, enclosing a message of support for inclusion in Smith’s rectorial campaign leaflet (E2015.15)
  • Letter from Douglas Young to Holroyd, 27 March 1963, on the Scottish Renaissance Society’s decision to present Smith with the Thomas Urquhart Award (E2015.15)

Critical Materials

  • ‘The Significance of Sydney Goodsir Smith’, TS of essay by Hugh MacDiarmid submitted to The Jabberwock

Maurice Lindsay (Coll-56)

Literary MSS by Smith

  • Under the Eildon Tree (1947), carbon TS with MS corrections (Gen 2030/31/199)'
  • 'The Gangrel Rimer and the Absolution of Sanct Ann' (1945), TS (with MS corrections) of a verse translation from Tristan Corbière (1945) (Gen 2030/31/200)


  • 23 letters from Smith to Lindsay, 1945-75 (Gen 2030/31/198)

Critical Materials

  • Review of Smith’s The Deevil’s Waltz (1946) by R. Crombie Saunders, TS (Gen 2030/24b)
  • Script of radio review of Smith's Selected Poems by John Speirs, Arts Review, BBC Scottish Home Service, 3 March 1948 (Gen 2030/26b)

Norman MacCaig (Coll-69)

Literary MSS and Proofs by Smith

  • Fifteen Poems and a Play (1968), TS (MS 3207/6)
  • ‘Three Men Make a Revolution’, TS of poem included in anthology of Scottish verse edited by MacCaig for Poetry Review (ca. 1965) (Gen 767/28/15)
  • 'In Time of Deepest Wanhope' and 'Reflections in a Glass', proofs of poems (MS 3202/16/2)
  • 'The Riggins of Chelsea', proof of essay (MS 3202/16/3)


  • Letter from Smith to MacCaig, 12 January 1949, with TS of poem 'The Octopus, or, His Muse Fled' (MS 3204/2/8)
  • Letter from Hugh MacDiarmid to MacCaig, 8 December 1952, including criticism of Smith's So Late into the Night (MS 3204/2/9/1)

Literary MSS by MacCaig

  • 'The Great Auk and the Hippogriff', TS poem about Smith (MS 3207/3/17)

Critical Writings by MacCaig

  • TS transcript of review of Sydney Goodsir Smith’s Under the Eildon Tree broadcast on Arts Review, BBC Scottish Home Service, 19 November 1948 (MS 3203/1/14)
  • 'Sydney Goodsir Smith and the Scottish Renaissance', proof of article (MS 3203/4/7)
  • MS and TS notes on Smith (MS 3202/16/1)

There are also inscription copies of books by Sydney Goodsir Smith in Edinburgh University Library's collection of Books from Norman MacCaig's Library.



Hugh MacDiarmid (Coll-18)

Literary MSS by Smith

  • The Deevil’s Waltz, TS with MS annotations (MS 2993)
  • Gulls Ride the Storm, or, Agin Black Spats: Poems by Sydney Smith (1942), TS of 31 poems, many subsequently published in The Wanderer (1943) or The Deevil's Waltz (1946) (Gen 2104/4/18-51)
  • Under the Eildon Tree: XXIII Elegies for Deirdre, TS (MS 2993)
  • ‘Ode to Hector Berlioz, 1803-1869’, ‘Peter Morrison, or, The Wanderer’, ‘Rattrimes: For the Bloombourgeois Times’, ‘Sonnet Written in Dejection’, and ‘Tae the Russian Heroes, October 1941’, TS poems (MS 2993)
  • 'Sahara' and 'The Viaduct', TS poems submitted for unpublished anthology Scottish Signposts (1943-44), co-edited by Maurice Lindsay and Fred Urquhart (MS 2983)
  • TSS of 35 loose poems sent to Hugh MacDiarmid, 1938-64 (Gen 2104/4/2-5, 7-16, 57-83)
  • TSS of 22 loose poems sent to Hugh MacDiarmid, 1940-53 (MS 2960.16/5-20, 37, 57-58, 60, 118)

The selections in the TSS of The Deevil's Waltz and Under the Eildon Tree differ from the published versions.


  • 64 letters, 12 postcards, 1 telegram, and 2 greetings cards from Smith, 1938-73 + 3 letters from Hazel Smith, the poet’s widow (MS 2960.16)
  • 7 letters from Smith, 1939-1964 (Gen 2104/4/1, 6, 17, 52-56)

Smith is also mentioned in letters to MacDiarmid from, amongst others, W. R. Aitken (MS 2942.2), Thurso Berwick (MS 2942.12), George Bruce (MS 2979), Duncan Glen (MS 2948.9), Norman MacCaig (MS 2953.7), Sorley MacLean (MS 2954.13), Alexander Scott (MS 2960.5), Tom Scott (MS 2960.6), and Douglas Young (MS 2961.18).

Critical Works by MacDiarmid

  • Sydney Goodsir Smith (1963), corrected proof (Gen 1781)

Photographs of Scottish Writers (Coll-1070)

  • 3 photographs of Smith by Gordon Wright, 1974 (including one with Sorley MacLean) (E89/45/4)

Records of Scottish International Review (Coll-232)

TSS of Submissions by Smith

  • 'Drifts' and 'Late Spring', poems (Gen 2159/3)
  • 'The Bonnie Reidheid', verse translation from the French of Guillaume Apollinaire (Gen 2159/1)

Reviews of Smith's Works

  • Review of Smith's Fifteen Poems and Play (1969) by Robert Garioch (Gen 2159/3)
  • Review of the Robin Orr/Sydney Goodsir Smith opera Full Circle by Andrew Grommet (Gen. 2159/1)

Tom Scott (Coll-1077)

  • 2 letters and 2 postcards from Smith to Scott, 1957-70 (E95.02)
  • Smith mentioned in letter to Scott from Helen B. Cruickshank, 9 January 1965 (E95.02)
  • Mentioned in 2 letters from G. S. Fraser, 25 November 1959 and undated (E95.02)
  • Mentioned in undated letter from Robert Garioch, ca. 1956 (E95.02)
  • Mentioned in 6 letters from Hugh MacDiarmid, 8 October 1963, 11 February, 15 and 21 April, 2 May, 3 June 1975 (E2001.34)
  • Mentioned in letter from A. D. Mackie, 7 January 1965 (E95.02)
  • Mentioned in 4 letters from Alexander Scott, 7 February, 13 March 1966, 4 August, and 9 October 1967 (E95.02)

Fred Urquhart (Coll-49)

  • Mentioned in letter from George Scott-Moncrieff to Urquhart [1943?] (MS 2832)
  • Mentioned in letter from Margaret Hamilton to Urquhart, 16 July 1972 (MS 2832)
  • Mentioned in copy of letter from Urquhart to the Carcanet Press, 7 February 1977 (MS 2836)
  • Mentioned in letter from Norah Montgomerie to Urquhart, 11 March 1980 (MS 2832)
  • Mentioned in letter from William Montgomerie to Urquhart, 12 March 1980 (MS 2832)

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