Burns Night at the Rosenbach

On January 25, 1759, the poet Robert Burns was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. The anniversary of his birth is celebrated all over the world with scotch, songs, and poems by the prolific writer. Robert Burns holds a special place in the Rosenbach: our collection houses some remarkable early editions (including a stunning Kilmarnock edition that belonged to Burns’ patron, Mrs. Frances Dunlop), some personal items (such as a powder horn that belonged to Burns, now on view in our rare book library), and assorted letters and manuscript poems.

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This year, we were thrilled to open our doors on January 25 for readings, refreshments, and rousing renditions of traditional songs. Musical selections were performed by The Kennedys, a father-son duo specializing in Celtic music. As members of the South Jersey Celtic Society, they were seasoned performers of music for regional Burns Night Suppers, and we were lucky to have them!

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If you’re paging through our photo gallery, you might notice that reader (and upcoming Course instructor) Steve Newman is addressing a yellow bowl full of–what else?–haggis, imported from Scotland in a can.

We take our Burns Night very seriously at the Rosenbach. As Robert Burns once wrote, “Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware. . . Gie her a Haggis.”  We don’t want nae skinking ware either, and you can expect only the strongest stuff in our upcoming course Robert Burns: Song, Satire, and Scotland. It begins this Thursday, February 15, but there’s still time to sign up!