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Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 10:15 GMT
Dewar collection goes on display
Donald Dewar in Edinburgh
Donald Dewar was Scotland's first First Minister
A collection of books and memorabilia belonging to Scotland's First Minister Donald Dewar are being displayed for the first time.

The items on display at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh include a diary entry written on his 16th birthday and a copy of the Scotland Act signed by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Mr Dewar became Scotland's First Minister after devolution in June 1999, but he died 16 months later from a brain haemorrhage, at the age of 63.

The Labour politician, who had campaigned for devolution throughout his career, had a legendary passion for literature and culture.

Donald Dewar meets the Queen
The Scottish Parliament was opened by the Queen
The exhibits on display include works on Scottish history and culture, political biographies, books which he reviewed, gifts from friends, family items and antiquarian material.

Photographs, party political material, newspaper cuttings, menus and events programmes also feature.

The exhibits include a football programme for the 1999 England v Scotland European Championship qualifying match at Wembley, funeral cards from the requiem services of Harold Wilson and John Smith, a honorary degree from Glasgow University and a campaigning T-shirt for the 1978 Garscadden by-election.

A spokeswoman for the library said: "Donald Dewar was clearly a hoarder and there is an interesting eclectic feel to this first display which concentrates on four of the main themes within the collection within the collection: Donald Dewar the man, Donald Dewar the politician, Donald Dewar the reader/reviewer and Donald Dewar the collector."

Sold at auction

The exhibition will run at the National Library from January 16 to February 28 and admission is free.

In August last year antiques belonging to Mr Dewar fetched four times their expected price when they were sold at auction.

Six remaining lots from his estate were sold for 16,235.

They had been expected to fetch between 3,350 and 4,650 in total.

Mr Dewar's children, Iain and Marion, offered his collection of books and memorabilia to the Scottish Parliament after his death.

The collection will be the main feature of a reading room dedicated to the late First Minister being created within Queensberry House, at the heart of the new Holyrood complex.

See also:

11 Oct 01 | Scotland
Anniversary tribute to Donald Dewar
01 Jul 01 | Scotland
Donald Dewar's 2m legacy
16 Jan 02 | Scotland
Dewar books place at Holyrood
11 Dec 00 | Scotland
Euro tribute to Donald Dewar
09 Dec 00 | Scotland
Labour confirms Scottish leader
18 Oct 00 | Donald Dewar
A nation says goodbye
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