The Writers’ Museum, (Edinburgh Museums & Galleries)

Address and Opening Hours

Lady Stair’s House, Lady Stairs Close, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PA

Hours: 10-5 Mon-Sat all year (and also 12-5 Sun during Edinburgh Festival only). Closed 25-26 December and 1-2 January. Access to reserve collections by appointment only.

RLS Collection

Significant collection of personal items (including Stevenson’s pipe, fishing rod, ring, riding boots and cap, and the ‘Davos’ printing press on which he and Lloyd produced Moral Emblems and The Graver and the Pen), manuscripts (including many of Stevenson’s letters to W.E. Henley and Alison Cunningham; 5 poems), paintings (including a portrait by Nerli) and an extensive archive of photographs relating to the life and work of Robert Louis Stevenson. Photocopies of the Monterey Scrapbooks.

Particularly important are the three albums of photographs compiled for Stevenson’s South Seas book and a fourth album of related interest:

1. ‘Cruise of the Equator’, photographs taken June-December 1889 (LSH149/91);

2. Album that belonged to Lloyd Osbourne containing scenes and incidents connected with the Casco Cruise (June 1888 to January 1889) and visits to various Pacific Islands (Marquesas, Tahiti, Hawaiian Islands), (LSH150/91);

3. Lloyd Osbourne’s photograph album of scenes with RLS on various Pacific Islands, c.1889 (LSH153/91);

4. Album of images collected by Miss Jane Whyte Balfour of watercolour; pen and ink and pencil sketches; hotographs of scenes and incidents in Samoa, after 1889 (LSH151/91).

For a view of these photos, see Capital Collections (‘Robert Louis Stevenson: Pacific Travels’ Exhibition) and the South Seas pages of our Gallery section.

Further Reading

Bethune, Andrew and Ronald Davies, Robert Louis Stevenson : Supplementary Catalogue of the Stevenson Collection in the Edinburgh Room with a Select List of Books and Manuscripts in Lady Stair’s House Museum (Edinburgh : Edinburgh City Libraries, 1978)

Greig, Elaine, “Unfinished Business”, textualities. This article summarizes the holdings at and the history of the Writers’ Museum.


Tel:  +44 131-529-4901;
Fax: +44 131-220-5057;

A Guide to the RLS Collection at the Writers’ Museum

Please find here a downloadable PDF guide to the RLS collection in the Writers’ Museum. The guide is a card catalogue listing of the 1,500 items in the collection: personal items, manuscripts, works of art, photographs, publications, items relating to family and friends, commemorative items and more.

Images and downloadable guide to the Writers’ Museum collection by Dr Hilary Grimes