Another Literary Loss

September 15th, 2009

Today saw an announcement of a further reduction in Edinburgh’s once famous publishing industry. The offices of Chambers, respected worldwide for their dictionaries and established way back in 1819 by brothers William and Robert Chambers, are to close. 27 staff will be affected and the remainder of the work will move to London.

Thus is cut another tie to the literary past – Chambers were the publishers of the Songs of Robert Burns amongst many important works. I remember when it was common to see their dictionaries in school classrooms and I think my dad still has the big thick dictionary he bought to help with my studies when I was young.

Apparently the heads of Chambers Harrap, as the company has been for some time, tried to sell it but couldn’t find a buyer. It seems we all use the internet for reference material these days and sales of dictionaries have declined markedly.

A sad day, and I fear my old boss Jimmy Thin will be spinning in his grave.

Entry Filed under: Books,Edinburgh

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