Born in Nassau, Bahamas of Scottish parents, Ian Hamilton Finlay was educated at Dollar Academy. After war service he settled first on Orkney and began to write poetry. In 1961 he founded the Wild Hawthorn Press with Jessie McGuffie. The output of this press included prints, magazines, booklets, folders and cards on almost all of which he collaborated with other artists - painters, typographers, calligraphers and others. In 1966 he moved with his family to Little Sparta in the Pentlands where he developed a now famous garden.
The University Art Collection holds several works by Ian Hamilton Finlay.