The Boswell Museum and Mausoleum Trust has revealed the discovery of James Boswell's (1740-1795) long lost draft manuscript of his Scots dictionary. The manuscript describes approximately 800 Scots words and phrases and was discovered by Susan Rennie, a freelance lexicographer, while researching the nineteenth-century Scottish lexicographer John Jamieson in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Tim Cornwell, arts correspondent with The Scotland on Sunday who broke the story on the 1st of May, said: "Linguistic gems run from the earliest known examples of Scots words like bubbly-jock, for a turkey cock, and dabberlock, a kind of edible seaweed, to the Scots verb to dight, to wipe. It includes gardyloo, the traditional Edinburgh warning cry for slops about to be thrown in the street, but intriguingly spells it jardelou . . . In his own writings, the Edinburgh-born lawyer and writer [Boswell] describes showing Johnson, his long-time friend, a 'specimen' of his own intended dictionary in October 1769 � Johnson told him that by collecting his own country's words, 'you will do a useful thing towards the history of language." Boswell never completed the work and the manuscript, following a family sale in 1825, was lost. Eventually it passed into the collection of Jamieson that was later acquired by the Bodleian.

Nat Edwards, Director, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, said: "The discovery of Boswell's manuscript is quite auspicious at a time when there is a resurgence of interest in Scots. It is a remarkable piece of scholarship and shows clearly that Burns was not the only literary figure working to preserve the heritage of Scotland's language. It provides an added inspiration for us to continue the work of Boswell and Burns today and introduce new generations to Scots." James Knox, chairman of the Boswell Museum and Mausoleum Trust said: "This discovery comes at a perfect time as we highlight the greatness of Boswell through the Boswell Book Festival (BBF) to be held at his home, Auchinleck House, in Ayrshire on 20-22 May. As the inventor of modern biography with his Life of Samuel Johnson in 1791, and of the confessional memoir with his riveting diaries, which became international best sellers when first published in the 1950s, Boswell ranks as one of the great figures of world literature. The Festival will put the art of biography and memoir today on show with performances, discussions and live talks with some of the UK¹s leading practitioners including Diana Athill, Kate Adie, Bill Paterson and Selina Hastings." Dr. Gordon Turnbull, head of the Boswell archive at Yale University and who is speaking at the Boswell Book Festival said: "An intriguing and exciting recovery. Scholars around the globe are deeply in Susan Rennie's debt. The manuscript of the Dictionary not only shows new facets of Boswell, but promises to shed light on a largely vanished language, and therefore on the people who spoke it." The Boswell Museum and Mausoleum Trust (BMMT) was established in 2010 to restore the Boswell Mausoleum in Auchinleck churchyard and to create in the adjoining seventeenth century Boswell Aisle the only museum anywhere to celebrate the life and work of Boswell. The BBF is the first event of the trust and is - we understand - the only named literary festival in the UK to take place at the author's own house.

Dr Gordon Turnbull (world expert on Boswell and head of the archive at Yale University) will be speaking on Sunday 22 May at 2pm at the Boswell Book Festival and will explain why we continue to be drawn to this Scottish literary genius again and again.

BOSWELL BOOK FESTIVAL - 20-22 MAY 2011 Full programme and additional information: BOX OFFICE: 01563 554900 (Palace Theatre Kilmarnock for the Boswell Book Festival) Lines open Mon-Sat 10.00am - 5.00pm, In Person: From 20 May our Box Office Counter is on site at: Boswell Book Festival Box Office, Auchinleck House, Ochiltree, Ayrshire KA18 2AU