Research into seven long-lost manuscripts which throw new light onto the life and works of poet Robert Burns has been presented at a conference by the man who discovered them.
The documents, believed to be among some of the most important findings related to Burns in recent years, include three holograph manuscripts written by the Bard and correspondence from his close friends.
They were found inside an Extra Illustrated W Scott Douglas edition of The Works Of Robert Burns, dated 1877-79, which belonged to Burns's publisher William Paterson.
Researcher Chris Rollie, who made the discovery, has now presented his findings to the University of Glasgow Burns Conference 2013.
Although some of the manuscripts had been published, the original copies were lost for up to 200 years until their re-discovery in 2010. They have now been privately sold to a collector.
Mr Rollie said: "I realised very quickly that the material I was looking at was original and felt that some of it might be unpublished. Careful research revealed that whilst some of the material had been previously published, it was long-lost and some material was indeed new to Burns scholarship."
At least some of the manuscripts appear to have been at one time in the possession of Burns's close friend and physician Dr William Maxwell, one of a small group of friends who undertook the collection of the poet's papers and related manuscripts following his death.
Professor Gerry Carruthers, co-director of the University of Glasgow's Centre for Robert Burns Studies which is hosted the conference, said: "The finding of the Clarinda letter in full is very timely as we move towards a new edition of Burns's correspondence, and the other new manuscript findings of letters similarly help.
"The discovery of the draft 'Composed on hearing a bird sing' will also help us understand better the creative process behind one of Burns's poems.
"The Aiken epistle and especially the Maxwell-McLehose exchange bring poignant and important additional detail to the immediate aftermath of Burns's death and its effect on those whom he had loved. It is very exciting that such lost manuscript material continues to emerge in the 21st century."