ONE of America’s greatest anti-slavery campaigners, Frederick Douglass, is commemorated in a display that will go on show at the National Library of Scotland from tomorrow.

In a world first, items from the Frederick Douglass family collection, which until now have never been seen by the public, are on loan to the National Library to mark the 200th anniversary of the social reformer’s birth.

The letters, speeches and photographs are from the Walter O and Linda Evans Collection.

Dr Walter O Evans is a collector and conservator of African American art, history and culture. He personally delivered the material to the Library in August, and is returning to Edinburgh for the launch of ‘Strike for Freedom: Slavery, Civil War and the Frederick Douglass Family.’

Dr Evans said: “I am pleased that the letters, papers and photographs from my Douglass collection are being exhibited at the National Library of Scotland. Douglass loved Scotland and I can think of no better place or time to exhibit this material than in Edinburgh on the 200-year anniversary of his birth.”

The University of Edinburgh’s Professor of Black Studies and Personal Chair in English Literature, Celeste-Marie Bernier, is guest curator.

She said: “For the first time, Strike for Freedom tells the story of the revolutionary activism not only of Frederick Douglass – world-famous freedom-fighter, liberator and human rights campaigner – but of his family members.

“Douglass’s wife, Anna Murray, daughters, Rosetta and Annie, and sons, Lewis Henry, Frederick Jr., and Charles Remond all sacrificed everything they had in working towards a ‘new dawn of freedom’.”

The display runs until February.