Annual Review 2005-2006

Annual Review 2005-2006 continued (page 3 of 3)

Partnership features

Connecting with local communities:
The Trondra Local History Group

NLS' organised programme of outreach activity entails working with a variety of community groups and adult learners across Scotland. In the course of this activity a number of projects have emerged that draw not only on NLS material for their inspiration but equally on the participants own knowledge and experiences.

Such a project took shape when the Library started working with the Trondra Local History Group, adult learners from Glasgow's Greater Easterhouse brought together by staff at John Wheatley College and Glasgow Museums. Easterhouse is an area long blighted by social deprivation and this project sought to re-invest local pride in its residents.

The end result in October 2005 was the publication of a book: 'Hidden Histories. Greater Easterhouse: More Than Just A Scheme'. The book, which uncovers the fascinating social history of the area, has been distributed free of charge to a wide range of local schools and other community groups, while also being absorbed into the Library's own collections for the benefit of future researchers.

'It has been a wonderful experience to participate in something so successful, never did we imagine when we first met in the Trondra Church with a blank sheet of paper and a rough idea of the area's history that we would become recognised experts.

'The project has given us the confidence to talk to anyone about Trondra from politicians to professors, film stars to the elderly. We felt that we had to let the community know about the importance of local history and give them a pride in their area (not everyone has 4000 years of history and connections to Royalty on their doorstep).

'Support and encouragement from NLS and the skill and dedication of the Education and Outreach Officer provided us with the facility to research our book. The opportunity to see with our own eyes a letter by Mary Queen of Scots was an experience that will stay with us forever. We found out that NLS is open to all.

'We want local people, and children in particular, to take pride in their community. Trondra's legacy is that it has uncovered a hidden past to put pride in the future. '

Laura Edwards
Communications Lecturer
John Wheatley College

Connecting with international institutions:
Ecole nationale des chartes

Located in Paris and founded in 1821, Ecole nationale des chartes is among the world's most prestigious centres for the education of curators of library and archive collections. The school has an enviable international reputation for providing its students, known as chartists, with the rigorously academic curatorial training required for interpreting, researching and conserving cultural heritage material. NLS was fortunate to welcome one of the school's students, David-Jonathan Benrubi, for a two-month work placement in June 2005.

Mr Benrubi, who worked in the Library's Manuscript Collections Division, compiled detailed catalogue descriptions for our two 14th-century copies of the 'Roman de la rose'. This tale, composed by two separate 13th-century authors, is recognised as a major literary text of the period, covering the issues of love, nature, politics and society and is often considered to contain the first gender controversy in the Western world. Mr Benrubi's catalogue descriptions of these manuscripts will enable researchers in this field to gain further insight into our copies of the work.

''My time at NLS gave me the privileged opportunity to use and enhance the skills that I have acquired at Ecole des chartes. I hope that my catalogue descriptions — which are based both on previous works on other manuscripts of this text and on the observation of the decoration and illustration in the manuscripts — will be useful to readers. I have learned much about what a library is and what it ought to be and what curatorial work involves. I was grateful to learn how foreign books are acquired by NLS. All Library staff extended a friendly welcome and invaluable information. Thanks to them, my experience of working in NLS has confirmed my ambition to become a librarian'.

David-Jonathan Benrubi

This was the first international placement that NLS has organised. In the year following the reporting period, our Rare Book Collections Division welcomed a second Ecole des chartes student: Mariette Naud. Her work in deciphering the early modern inscriptions of the Hamilton family in the books of our Tyninghame collection can be seen in the entries for these books on our online catalogue. The success of both internships will, we hope, encourage this arrangement to continue in future.

Connecting with learners nationwide:
Learning and Teaching Scotland

With some 13 million items in our collections, the National Library offers a vast resource for learners and those working at all levels of study. Our role in promoting and supporting education is soon to reach a new plateau, with the launch of a suite of digital learning resources developed closely with Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) during the period.

NLS has collaborated with LTS to produce a series of educational video clips for Glow (formerly the Scottish Schools Digital Network) which will help bring history to life for both teachers and their students. Curators from our Map, Rare Book and Manuscript collecting divisions were filmed giving illustrated talks on some of our greatest treasures, such as the medieval manuscript the Murthly Hours and the Edinburgh Calotype album, among the world's first photographic albums, dating from the 1840s.

'The tremendous wealth of material held by the National Library has consistently awed and amazed the staff from Learning and Teaching Scotland, who have been privileged enough to tour the NLS archives. Immediately we were convinced of the value to Scottish education of these collections, and were excited to work with NLS to provide access to these resources through Glow.

'Along the way, we've been greatly helped by NLS curators, who have offered insights into the collections that we could have only guessed at. We look forward to continuing this joint work to deliver learners access to such valuable content.'

Paddy Patterson
External Content Specialist
Learning and teaching Scotland

The clips will be made available online and for downloading as podcasts when Glow becomes available from mid-2007.

Connecting with public libraries:
Aberdeen Library and Information Services

NLS has always had positive relationships with public libraries but in recent years these have been purposefully nurtured and developed. Following the successful launch of a formal partnership with Moray Libraries in November 2005, NLS also embarked on a similar relationship with Aberdeen Library and Information Services. The focus of the initiative was to bring together national and local resources in new and imaginative ways, encompassing exhibitions, education and outreach, digitisation and a general forum for sharing skills and knowledge. It will also play a crucial role in bringing the national collections closer to the people of Aberdeen.

The partnership was officially launched in January 2006 with a tailored event designed to set the tone for future projects, culminating in a multi-ethnic interpretation of World Burns Night at Aberdeen Art Gallery. Later in 2006 NLS participated in the annual Storytelling and Theatre Festival, organising a variety of educational and family activities in the city's Children's Library. The programme of drama workshops, devised jointly with TAG Theatre Company, drew on our 'Scotland's secret war' exhibition for inspiration and were organised to coincide with the premier of the travelling version of the exhibition: itself designed to resemble a period filing cabinet, which opens out to reveal war secrets within.

'Working in partnership with NLS has presented opportunities for collaboration in a number of areas which will ultimately increase access to, and development of, a wealth of resources held both locally and nationally.

'Staff exchange visits have already led to a sharing of expertise and a greater mutual understanding of services offered for referral purposes, in particular how Local Legal Deposit is managed.

'We look forward to the sharing of resources; items of local interest in the John Murray Archive, for example, and local access to the collections held in Edinburgh for both users and staff.

'We also look forward to the national provision of local content, such as progress with the digitisation programme to improve access to locally held items such as Aberdeen Trade Directories.

'We believe that we are building sure foundations from which the partnership will blossom.'

Neil M Bruce
Service Manager Culture & Leisure
Aberdeen Libraries and Information Services

Momentum will be sustained in November 2006 when the first NLS public 'Road Show' will take place in Aberdeen Central Library concurrently with the first Trustees' meeting to be held outside of Edinburgh.

Collecting with local libraries:

Newspapers represent a crucial element of our nation's archives. The NEWSPLAN2000 Project was a UK-wide project instigated to both preserve historic local newspapers on microfilm and make the film widely available in libraries. NEWSPLAN Scotland, working in partnership with the Scottish library community, contributed to the success of the UK project, filming nearly 4 million pages of Scottish newsprint and saving over 600 local titles, which were at risk of deterioration. The project has ensured that these vital cultural assets are preserved for posterity, while protecting frail newspapers from any further damage, some of which date as far back as 1700.

NEWSPLAN has reaped dividends for NLS in adding around 10,000 microfilms of Scottish newspapers to our collections — some of which have not been read in Scotland since they were first published. Titles preserved include many long out of circulation, such as the 'Greenock Election Squib', 'Caledonian Mercury', 'Scottish Prohibitionist' and the 'Aberdeen Shaver'.

Local participating libraries have also benefited from the project — not only do they hold copies of titles that relate to their geographical area, but the project has provided special equipment for reading the microfilms.

'Newspapers are a vital part of the collective memory of our communities, and the NEWSPLAN Scotland project has allowed local studies collections all over Scotland — from Kirkwall to Kirkpatrick Fleming — to provide greater and safer access to our local history.

'Family history is a huge growth area in libraries and the wider availability of old newspapers gives our enquirers access to a massive volume of resources. Whether people are looking for births, deaths and marriages, stories about accidents or crimes, or even information about an ancestor's school prizegiving, it's all in the paper!'

Elizabeth Carmichael
Education Officer, The Mitchell Library

The NEWSPLAN2000 Project reached its formal conclusion in July 2005, with Scotland receiving around a third of the UK project's total microfilm output. The work of NEWSPLAN Scotland continues however, working with the Scottish local authority libraries to promote the use of newspapers and their content. Most recently a guide to Scottish newspaper indexes was launched: the guide will help customers locate indexes to Scottish newspapers by searching under specific place names or key words.


Grants and donations to 31 March 2006

NLS is grateful to all those trusts, foundations, individuals and corporations who have made gifts, pledges or bequest commitments to 31 March 2006* and would like to thank the following for their support of the Development Campaign, as well as all those who wish to remain anonymous.

* This list does not purport to list every financial donor to NLS, but only those made before 31 March 2006. Please contact the Development Department to inform us of any omissions.

John Murray Archive (JMA) Project

John Murray VII offered NLS the opportunity to acquire the archive in 2002. So committed was John Murray to NLS acquiring the archive that he offered a reduced purchase price of £31.2 million, despite a formal valuation at over £45 million. The proceeds from the sale have formed the John R Murray Charitable Trust which has pledged a commitment to support the conservation and enhancement of the archive. The generosity of John Murray is greatly appreciated by NLS, and has ensured that the archive will benefit the nation for generations to come.

JMA Major Donors
  • Dunard Fund
  • Scottish Executive
  • The Heritage Lottery Fund
JMA Benefactors
  • Professor Michael Anderson OBE FRSE FBA
JMA Patrons
  • Lord and Lady Balfour of Burleigh
  • Miss Mary E Mackenzie
JMA Supporters
  • Mr Philip Darwin
  • Professor and Mrs Alastair Fowler
  • Mr John Lee
  • Mr Domhall MacCormaig
  • Mr and Mrs Phyllis Whelan
JMA Donors
  • Mrs Hillian Durell
  • Mr Barry Haniford
  • Mr Barry Haniford
The Curators' Chest*
  • Mrs Kathleen Barclay Bowley
  • Edinburgh Antiques and Fine Arts Society
  • University of Cambridge Edinburgh Branch

* The Curator's Chest will provide funds to conserve, develop and improve access to collections, facilities and services.

  • Dr Khaled A Al-Jeraisy
  • Robert Allan
  • Mrs Roz Allsop
  • Professor David Ambrose MBE
  • Ayrshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
  • BBC Radio Scotland
  • Ms Frances Bingham
  • Bischofliches Zentralarchiv, Regensburg
  • Hamish M Brown
  • David Cameron
  • K Campbell
  • Centro Internazionale Studi di Estetica
  • John Chalmers
  • Mr Alastair Cherry
  • Professor Veniamin Ciobanu
  • Mrs Hilary Clark
  • County Clare Agricultural Show Society Ltd
  • Robert Crawford
  • A C F David
  • Dr Joseph Davydov, PhD, PE
  • Ms Jane Duncan
  • Professor Margaret Elphinstone
  • Mrs Bridget Falconer-Salkeld
  • Mrs Eileen Fraser
  • French Embassy, London
  • Dr Jane Freshwater MB ChB FRCA
  • Mr John Gibson
  • Mrs Lois Godfrey
  • Mr Alistair Strathearn Gordon
  • Graduate Institute of Peace Studies
  • Mrs Ellen Grant
  • Alasdair Gray
  • Mrs Shirley-Anne Hardy
  • Harry Hawthorne
  • Mrs Morag Henderson
  • Ms Linda M Hendry
  • Dr John Higinbotham
  • Jack Tully-Jackson
  • Mrs Jeanne Jeffares
  • Robin Jenkins
  • Professor Marilyn Jurich
  • Mr John Llewelyn
  • Donald MacCormick
  • Brigadier General John MacFarlane
  • Elizabeth McLennan
  • Mrs Linda MacMillan
  • Rev Dr William D McNaughton
  • Dr Alan Marchbank
  • Mr Peter Marshall
  • Dr Paula Martin
  • Professor Helen Miller
  • Mr Roberto Mirabella
  • John R G Murray
  • National Library Board, Singapore
  • National Museums of Scotland
  • Dr Joan Noble
  • Mr Martin Norgate
  • Mrs Jane Oakley
  • Professor Irine Oniani
  • Piobaireachd Society
  • Mr Hilary Gordon Powell
  • Professor Michael B Pulman
  • Dr Hermann Reidel
  • Dr Morag L Rennie
  • Sir Lewis Robertson
  • Kenneth Ross
  • Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
  • Mrs Fiona Rudd
  • Mr J E Russell
  • Saint Joseph's Hill of Hope
  • Dr James M Scobbie
  • Mrs Heather Scott
  • Scottish Malaysian Association
  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery
  • Ms V R Scouten
  • Walter Simms
  • Professor A McCall Smith
  • Miss Henrietta Somervell
  • Stirling Council, Educational Resources and Information Service
  • Dr Massimo Storchi
  • Mr Seppo Telenius
  • Temple Records
  • Ms Joan Trotter
  • Mrs Jill Turnbull
  • Waseda University, School of International Liberal Studies
  • Professor Norbert Waszek
  • Norman Watkins
  • Dr Susunaga Weeraperuma
  • The family of the late Sir James Wordie
  • Miss C E G Wright
  • World Day of Prayer, Scottish Committee
  • Dr William Zachs
  • Peter Duncan
  • Edinburgh Jewish Literary Society
  • Falkirk Archives
  • Mrs Elizabeth Laidlaw
  • Piobaireachd Society
  • Mrs Fiona Rudd
  • Saltire Society
  • Desmond Scott
  • Mrs Heather Scott
  • Scottish Poetry Library
  • Scottish Working People's History Trust
  • Mrs Brigid Simpson
  • Mrs Jill Turnbull
  • Waldensian Missions Aid Society, Scotland
Exhibition and Award sponsors
  • Elizabeth A Clark's Fund
  • The Cross Trust
  • The Gannochy Trust
  • The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
  • The Ian Mactaggart Trust
  • The Leng Trust
  • Michael Marks Charitable Trust
  • John Menzies plc
  • The Margaret Murdoch Charitable Trust
  • The Robertson Trust
  • The Royal Scottish Geographical Society
  • The Russell Trust
  • The Scotsman Publications
  • The Sir James Miller (Edinburgh) Charitable Trust
  • Talteg Ltd
  • The Vivienne & Samuel Cohen Charitable Trust
  • West Lothian Educational Trust
  • The W M Mann Foundation



Professor Michael Anderson, OBE, MA, PhD, FBA, FRSE

  • The Lord President of the Court of Session
  • The Lord Advocate
  • The First Minister, Scottish Parliament
  • The Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Central
  • The Dean of the Faculty of Advocates
  • The Minister of the High Kirk (St Giles&'8216;), Edinburgh
  • The Crown Agent
  • The Lord Provost of Aberdeen
  • The Lord Provost of Dundee
  • The Lord Provost of Edinburgh
  • The Lord Provost of Glasgow
Appointed by the Crown
  • Professor Michael Anderson, OBE, MA, PhD, FBA, FRSE
  • A Lorraine Fannin, BA, DipEd
Appointed by the Faculty of Advocates
  • Angus Stewart, QC
  • Malcolm G Thomson, QC
  • The Hon Lord Coulsfield, QC
  • Malcolm C N Scott, QC
  • Stephen Woolman, QC
Appointed by the Universities
  • Professor Graham D Caie, MA, PhD, FRSA, FEA, FRSE
  • Ivor G Lloyd, BA, DipLib, MLib, ALA
  • Peter Kemp, MA, PhD
  • Dr Judith Vincent, BA, PhD
Appointed by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Councillor Bill Lamb
  • Councillor Joy Mowatt
  • Lady Balfour of Burleigh, MA, DPhil, FSAScot, FRSE
  • Andrea Batchelor
  • Ishbel Maclean, MA
  • Moira Methven, MCILIP
  • Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, MA, Phd, FRHistS
  • Dr Willis Pickard, MA, LLD, DipEd


Previous page  |   first page



Annual Report main page

Speak me