THOUSANDS of items from important collections of Robert Burns' work can now be explored from anywhere in the world.

The collections are all work that is currently being held in the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, with more than 2,500 items now easily accessible worldwide.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has launched a portal that gives unprecedented access to the manuscripts, archives and artefacts, including more than 1,000 items that are held in store for their long term preservation and protection.

The move was made possible for the conservation charity after six-figure funding was made available from a member of the charity’s Patrons’ Club and the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA.

They wanted to allow anyone with an interest in Burns from across the world to visit the National Trust for Scotland website and engage with Burns artefacts as never before.

This new interactive tool allows users the ability to zoom in to high resolution images to see full details on manuscripts and objects which would usually be displayed behind glass, or may even be in storage.

The online collection, which is split into four categories, allows users to experience Burns up close and personal – from previously un-displayed handwritten manuscripts by Burns, to sharing the recently acquired items from the Blavatnik Honresfield Library, alongside photographs, letters, objects and wider archival material.

Highlights include a fragment of one of only six known manuscripts of Auld Lang Syne, dating from 1793; Jean Armour’s wedding ring; a lock of Highland Mary’s hair; and Burns’ blue woollen initialled socks.

Susie Hillhouse, collections manager at the NTS, said: “We are excited to be bringing our incredible Robert Burns Collection to people across the world through this online platform.

"This project, which has been in the works for more than 12 months, will allow people to engage with items in the collections like never before.

"We’re currently only able to show a proportion of these items at our award-winning Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway.

"Now, anyone will be able to search the collections, and zoom in to tiny details and experience the full collection of more than 2,500 items, 24/7, from anywhere in the world.

"The time and investment that has gone in to creating this online collection demonstrates the Trust’s commitment to making heritage accessible for everyone.”

NTS head of fundraising Ali MacLeod added: “It’s thanks to the support of a member of our Patrons’ Club, whose generosity was matched by donations from the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA, that we’re able to bring this project to life.

"We hope that we can learn from this project and that it might pave the way for us to develop further online collections as part of our strategy to make Scotland’s important history accessible to everyone – both now and in the future.”

The Robert Burns Online Collection can be viewed online at