The unexpected discovery of detailed student notes on Smith’s Lectures on Rhetoric (on which no text had previously come to light) and on Jurisprudence (for which only a condensed version had hitherto been available) clearly required a re-think on the Collected Works. The new material had to be included but would require careful and lengthy editing, with expert inputs on the economic matter (Professor Ronald Meek), the legal matter (Peter Stein) and the social and political aspects (Professor David Raphael).

Smith’s ‘Theory of Moral Sentiments’ and ‘The Wealth of Nations’ were the first volumes to be published in 1976: the remaining works were spread over the following decade. Although it had become evident in the early 1960s that international interest in Smith’s work was being renewed, there is little doubt that the publication of the complete works to mark the Wealth of Nations bicentenary heightened awareness of Adam Smith’s achievements and contributed to a flow of new scholarly interpretations and debates. Public awareness and understanding was further boosted by the parallel publication by the Liberty Fund of a soft cover version of the six main volumes of The Glasgow Edition. The works are now available online through the Online Library of Liberty.