War Poets Collection

When Edinburgh Napier University purchased the former Craiglockhart College of Education in 1986, a large Victorian building, we did more than just accommodate our expanding needs, we acquired a piece of history.

It was here, during the First World War, that some of Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) and Siegfried Sassoon’s (1886-1967) greatest war poetry was inspired and written, and there is no better place for this special collection to be on permanent display to the public.

The Collection now comprises more than 650 items, including many unique items that Edinburgh Napier University is proud to own, such as signed first edition books, volumes of poetry by Sassoon and Owen and original issues of The Hydra, the hospital’s magazine.

Our permanent exhibition within Craiglockhart Campus allows visitors to view the War Poets Collection and gain an insight into the personal and social experiences of war through the words, memories, voices and objects that the officers, medical staff and relatives left behind.

The War Poets Collection is on permanent display and open to all members of the public for self-guided visits. To arrange group visits or guided visits please email.

Edinburgh 101

Siegfried Sassoon's The Old Huntsman and John Napier's Bones recently featured in the popular Edinburgh's 101 Objects - a list of the city's most treasured objects brought together to celebrate Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Historic images of Craiglockhart War Hospital, 1917