A digital database of the manuscripts of Robert Burns is being created in what is said to be the first of its kind.

Glasgow University's Centre for Robert Burns Studies is collaborating with the Burns Scotland project on the move, described as hugely significant.

Under the arrangement, all of the poet's papers held by national institutions, local authorities and other organisations under the Burns Scotland umbrella will be examined then corroborated. Details will be digitised and stored at the university centre for use by Burns Scotland partners. The database will store images with paper sizes, watermarks and other descriptive features.

The first part of the database will be created over the next 18 months. It will then be widened.