Events at NLS

Browse the list below to find out about talks, workshops and more, organised by the National Library of Scotland.

Book online or phone 0131 623 3734. Places are limited, so we recommend that you book in advance. For more information, or to join the events mailing list, email

List updated: 15 September

Events take place in our George IV Bridge Building, unless we state otherwise.




Douglas Haig: A hero of Scotland, Britain and the Empire?

Gary Sheffield

Douglas Haig is the most controversial general in British history. He is often seen today as an incompetent 'donkey', but at his death in 1928 Haig was mourned as a national hero. In this lecture Gary Sheffield sets Haig into the context of early 20th century heroism, asks why his reputation has changed so radically, and assesses his place in Scottish, British, and Imperial history.

16 September
This event is now fully booked.


Jewel in the glen: Gleneagles, golf and the Ryder Cup

'Jewel in the glen' cover

The night before the Ryder Cup tees off in Gleneagles, join former Gleneagles caddy and author of 'Jewel in the glen', Ed Hodge, as he tells the intertwining stories of the Ryder Cup and of golf at Gleneagles. From the USA v GB match in 1921 that sparked a rivalry for the ages to the latest instalment of this international sporting phenomenon, Hodge paints a unique portrait of Gleneagles, Scottish golf and the history of the Ryder Cup.

22 September
This event is now fully booked.


World War I: Scottish tales of adventure

'World War I: Scottish tales of adventure'

Prepare for battle in ships, aircraft and field hospitals as best-selling author and historian Allan Burnett explains how he has brought the First World War vividly to life for young readers. Allan will discuss his decision to focus on how the war affected Scottish men and women, and why he chose the book-lined trenches of NLS as the headquarters of his research campaign.

23 September
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


Golf on the rocks: A journey round Scotland's island courses

'Golf on the rocks' cover

Gary Sutherland will take you on an illustrated journey round some of Scotland's most far-flung golf courses, from Shetland to the Outer Hebrides. A writer from Hopeman on the Moray coast, now living in Glasgow, Gary is the author of 'Hunting grounds', 'Great balls of fire', 'Golf on the rocks' and 'Life cycle', and has written for the likes of 'Scotland on Sunday', 'Sunday Herald' and the 'Sunday Times' newspapers.

25 September
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


Doors Open Day

NLS exterior with banners

Take this opportunity to see behind the scenes and learn more about the National Library's George IV Bridge building and about our collections and services. Part of Edinburgh Doors Open Day, organised by the Cockburn Association. Numbers limited, so booking is essential. If you have specific access requirements or other additional needs, please let us know when you book your place.

27 September
10.00, 11.00, 12.00, 14.00, 15.00, 16.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.
Tours at 10.00, 11.00 and 14.00 are fully booked.

October events


Go home and sit still! The Scottish Women's Hospitals in the First World War

Two First World War nurses

Former nurse and midwife Chris Short will tell the story of remarkable women who braved deprivation, disease and war to provide a high standard of nursing care during the Great War. Elsie Inglis offered a 100-bed hospital unit staffed by women to be deployed anywhere in the war zone. The courage and tenacity of doctors, nurses, orderlies, drivers, cooks and administrators in the Scottish Women's Hospitals won them the respect of civilians and the military, and their work influenced legislation that is still relevant to today.

1 October
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


Michael Longley on 'Remembering war' for National Poetry Day

Michael Longley

Michael Longley will read and talk bout his own and others' poetry of war in this discussion with the Scottish Poetry Library's Director, Robyn Marsack. Poet John Burnside describes Michael as 'one of the finest lyric poets of the century'. This is a National Library of Scotland and Scottish Poetry Library partnership event.

4 October
Tickets £7 / £5. Book online for Michael Longley via Eventbrite or phone 0800 652 8399.



Photo of a microphone

The monthly night showcasing three different poetry and spoken word talents. Three different voices, three different styles, three different takes on life.

This month we are joined by Diana Hendry, Hamish Whyte, and Kate Hendry.

4 October
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.

See also:

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