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Scottish literature scholar Dr. Ross Roy passes away

Feb 21, 2013 1:19 PM

Dr. G. Ross Roy, Curator of the Scottish Literature Collection and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at USC, died at his home Tuesday, February 19.

"Ross was a world famous scholar and a great gentleman who worked every day of his life to make our Scottish Literature collection the best," said USC Libraries Dean Tom McNally. "I don’t think that I have known a kinder, gentler man that Ross. I am quite sure that I have not known anyone as devoted to our library as Ross."

Dr. Roy was known to many as the Curator of the Scottish Literature Collection and Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He came to the University of South Carolina in 1965 as Professor of English and Comparative Literature. In 1989, he transferred his Scottish Literature Collection to the University of South Carolina’s Rare Books and Special Collections Department.The G. Ross Roy Collection of Scottish Literature is the largest collection of Scottish Literature outside of Great Britain, with especially strong holdings of materials by and about Robert Burns.

Dr. Roy was born and educated in Montreal and earned degrees from Concordia University, the University of Montreal, the University of Strasbourg, including two earned doctorates from the University of Paris and the University of Montreal.  In 2002, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, and in 2009, a second honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow. His edition of The Letters of Robert Burns (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985) remains the standard edition in use today. He founded Studies in Scottish Literature, the first scholarly journal in the field of Scottish Literature, and served as its editor for forty-five years, with Lucie Roy as the associate editor. Not long after publishing the final volume, Dr. Roy began to plan for the new series of Studies in Scottish Literature. The first volume of the new series, edited by USC faculty members Dr. Patrick Scott and Dr. Tony Jarrells, has just been published. 

Read more about Dr. Roy's life and legacy at

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