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Papers of and concerning the poet George Campbell Hay (1915-1984).

Identifier: MSS.26721-26792

Scope and Contents

Born in Elderslie and educated in Tarbert Loch Fyne, Edinburgh and Oxford, George Campbell Hay spent most of his life in Edinburgh, but preserved a lifelong attachment to Kintyre, and in particular to Tarbert. Much of his poetry is a celebration of Kintyre, the land and its people, particularly the fishermen.

Most of these poems had been written between 1938 and 1945 and already published in periodicals; they include translations from eleven languages. Hay's most important work, ‘Mochtàr is Dùghall’, was not published until 1982. Hay also wrote articles and stories (many of which were published in ‘Gairm’ and the ‘Scots Independent’) and was active in the Scottish nationalist movement. His papers also reflect his linguistic interests, especially in the dialects of Kintyre; in about 1938 he began work on a dictionary of Gaelic usage, which was never completed.

Hay's literary career was seriously impaired by a nervous breakdown which he suffered in 1946 while serving with the Royal Air Force in Greece. He did not resume his poetic work until circa l960, and wrote regularly from 1969 until 1984. These periods of activity are reflected in his notebooks.


  • Creation: [Circa 1925]-1987, undated.

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72 Volumes

Language of Materials



The papers are arranged as follows: MSS.26721-26740. Notebooks MSS.26741-26743. Music MSS.26744-26745. Poetry MSS.26746-26750. Prose MSS.26749-26750. Photographs MSS.26751-26753. Papers of Angus Martin MSS.26754-26792. Printed books

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bought, 1985, 1987, with the exception of MSS.26734-26735, 26738-26739 presented, 1985, by the executors of the late George Campbell Hay; MSS.26751-26753 presented, 1985, 1989, by Angus Martin, Campbeltown; MS.26748, folios 1-2, presented, 1986, by Dr J L Campbell, Isle of Canna; MS.26744, folio l7, presented, 1987, by Ian D Haig, Gorebridge.


Three volumes of George Campbell Hay's poems were published shortly after the second World War: ‘Fuaran Sléibh’ (Glasgow, 1947), ‘Wind on Loch Fyne’ (Edinburgh, 1948), and ‘O na Ceithir Airdean’ (Edinburgh, 1952). Hay, George Campbell. ‘Mochtàr is Dùghall’ (Glasgow, 1982).
National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division
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Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
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