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 nlsevents@nls.uk.

List updated. 28 January.


January events

 

Public viewing: Vesalius's anatomy atlas

Skeleton illustration and text

A rare and exciting chance to view the Library's original 1543 copy of the first major anatomical atlas to be based on real human dissection. Beside 'De humanis corporis fabrica' by Andreas Vesalius, with its 270-odd woodcut illustrations. will be the magnificent two-volume English translation published in 2014. Viewings will be in bookable time slots, with 10 spaces available per slot.

28 January
16.30, 17.10, 17.50, 18.30
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Scotland's cruel sea

Due to unforeseen circumstances we have had to cancel this event, which was scheduled for 29 January. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


February events

Guided tour of the Library

Group of people on staircase

A guided tour of the building and introduction to the Library's collections and history. The tour will last approximately 45 minutes. Numbers limited, so booking is essential. Please let us know if you have special access requirements.

4 February
10.30
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


American Civil War

Photof of a Union and a Confederate Veteran

Dr David Silkenat will explore the evolution of the American Civil War's contested memory and legacy. In the 150 years since Confederate troops surrendered to Union forces, the Civil War has been one of the most remembered and mis-remembered periods in America's history.

4 February
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


Tours for National Libraries Day

National Libraries Day logo

Take this opportunity to learn more about your National Library, the collections, services, exhibitions and events, and see behind the scenes. Booking essential as places are limited. If you have specific access requirements or other additional needs please let our staff know when you book your place.

7 February
10.00, 11.00, 12.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Insight — NLS/SCO

Rosenna East

Violinist and journalist Rosenna East continues her series of cross-arts events in partnership with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) and the National Library. Delving into the connections between words, music, ideas and art, she will focus on Scottish composer Martin Suckling's stunning work 'Candlebird', inspired by the poetry of Dundee's Don Paterson. The SCO will perform 'Candlebird' at the Queens Hall 28 February.

10 February
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Through the heart of Dixie: Sherman's march and American memory

Eagle and American Civil War flags

Professor Anne Rubin explores the legends around William T Sherman's 1864-1865 march across Georgia and the Carolinas. Rubin provides insight into a range of perspectives and sources about how Americans have remembered, retold, and re-imagined the march. Her new book, 'Through the heart of Dixie', is accompanied by an interactive website mapping Sherman's march.

12 February
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


Guided tour of the Library

Group of people on staircase

A guided tour of the building and introduction to the Library's collections and history. The tour will last approximately 45 minutes. Numbers limited, so booking is essential. Please let us know if you have special access requirements.

16 February
14.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Reading the Gaelic landscape

Cover: Reading the Gaelic landscape

'Reading the Gaelic landscape' is essential for those interested in how the landscape of the Scottish Highlands is named in Gaelic. It will encourage people to understand the seemingly obscure words on Ordnance Survey maps. In his book, John Murray expands and categorises current place-name vocabulary and provides commentaries on geomorphology, hydrology, ecology, land use and literature.

17 February
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

This is Scotland: A country in words and pictures

Cover: This is Scotland

Let Daniel Gray and Alan McCredie take you on a journey through the real Scotland. With photographs, video clips and a great many stories about chips, they will showcase their new book, 'This Is Scotland. A country in words and pictures'. This is everyday Scotland — not a nation seen wearing kilts or in the middle of eccentric rituals or festivities but a nation of beautiful, haggard normality.

19 February
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Award ceremony

Bookbinding leaflet detail

We will announce the winners of the National Library of Scotland's creative and craft bookbinding competition at this evening event. All the entries for the 2014 Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Award will be on display. The competition is open to bookbinders across Europe, and the winning entries will join the Library’s collection of fine bindings.

20 February
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

'A delicate wildness — the life and loves of David Thomson

David Thomson

In 'A delicate wildness', Julian Vignoles explores the contribution — and soul — of writer and radio documentary producer David Thomson — a relatively unsung but uniquely talented man. Thomson had an impish grin, was wary of literati and drank with the London homeless. It was the late Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney who described him as having a 'delicate wildness'.

24 February
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

American Civil War display guided tour

Eagle and American Civil War flags

Curator-led tour of the rare and unique material exhibited in our treasures display for the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. 

26 February
14.30
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Moonwalker

Alan Rowan

Alan Rowan is a midnight mountaineer, taking to the hills when the rest of us are taking to our beds. It sounds crazy, but then how else would you have the Scottish countryside to yourself? Or climb a Munro, breakfast above the clouds and catch beautiful sunrises? Rowan shares his tales from the supernatural to the sublime, using video and images to take us into his world.

26 February
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


Guided tour of the Library

Group of people on staircase

A guided tour of the building and introduction to the Library's collections and history. The tour will last approximately 45 minutes. Numbers limited, so booking is essential. Please let us know if you have special access requirements.

4 March
10.30
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


March events

 

World Book Day – Tour of your National Library

World Book Day 2015 logo

As part of World Book Day, learn about the Library's collections, services, exhibitions and events. Enjoy a tour of the public areas and behind the scenes. The tour will last approximately 45 minutes. Please let us know if you have special access requirements.

5 March
10.00, 11.00, 12.00, 14.00, 15.00 and 16.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

American Civil War display guided tour

Eagle and American Civil War flags

A curator-led tour of the rare and unique material exhibited in our treasures display 'Yankee cries and rebel yells', marking the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

5 March
14.30
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Flora Sandes

Flora Sandes

Englishwoman Flora Sandes was the only western woman to enlist as a soldier in the First World War. She became a heroine and a media sensation after she was wounded fighting in the Serbian Army. Louise Miller will examine why only Flora — out of the millions of Allied women who undertook war work — was able to become a soldier.

10 March
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.

 


 

Gonnae no dae that: An afternoon with Allan Morrison

Cover: Gonnae no dae that

Natives of Scotland know that Scots have a unique way of communicating their feelings. Writer of the recently released 'Gonnae no dae that' — a book of Scottish sayings with deadpan English translations — Allan Morrison is a master of the Scots language. Come along for afternoon of Scottish humour and wit that will have you 'rollin on the flair laughin' yer heid aff'.

11 March
14.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

These dangerous women

Chrystal Macmillan

How did Chrystal Macmillan of Edinburgh become an organiser for the International Congress of Women in 1915? Independent scholar Helen Kay explores how 1,200 women met at The Hague amidst warfare to discuss how the First World War, and all wars, could be ended. Kay will lead the debate to consider how we should acknowledge these brave women.

11 March
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Workshop: 'United to protect' — Scottish working women's history

Two Edwardian women

Find out about female activists who worked tirelessly to improve working conditions in Scotland and who were prepared to risk their lives to help those in need. Maria Castrillo, Political Collections Curator, and Jan Usher, Social Sciences Curator, will reveal the role women have played in the history of the trade union and co-operative movements. A 90-minute workshop based on material from the Library's labour history collections.

12 March
11.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

American Civil War display guided tour

Eagle and American Civil War flags

A curator-led tour of the rare and unique material exhibited in our treasures display 'Yankee cries and rebel yells', marking the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

12 March
14.30
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

What do you need to know about dementia?

June Andrews

How do you know if someone has dementia? Is there anything you can do to stop it? And if it strikes what can you do? June Andrews, international authority on dementia care and author of 'The one stop guide to dementia', talks about how to stay well and avoid trouble.

12 March
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


Guided tour of the Library

Group of people on staircase

A guided tour of the building and introduction to the Library's collections and history. The tour will last approximately 45 minutes. Numbers limited, so booking is essential. Please let us know if you have special access requirements.

16 March
14.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Scottish women of science: Forebears of today's scientists

Women scientists

Science Curator Catherine Booth will share some of the stories she has unearthed while researching the lives and work of female scientists of the past. Scottish women have been making major contributions to progress in all scientific disciplines for many years, yet they are generally little known. Several achieved 'firsts' for women, and were among the early female Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

17 March
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Women and trade unions

Three Edwardian women

Trade unions are often regarded as a man's world, but closer examination of our history uncovers many examples of women organising collectively, speaking up for employment rights and equality. In this presentation Ann Henderson looks at examples from the early part of the 20th century in Scotland. Will common themes emerge when we compare with women and the trade unions today?

19 March
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Workshop: 'United to protect' — Scottish working women's history

Two Edwardian women

Find out about female activists who worked tirelessly to improve working conditions in Scotland and who were prepared to risk their lives to help those in need. Maria Castrillo, Political Collections Curator, and Jan Usher, Social Sciences Curator, will reveal the role women have played in the history of the trade union and co-operative movements. A 90-minute workshop based on material from the Library's labour history collections.

24 March
14.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

On being a man: Four Scottish men in conversation

Cover: On being a man

'I'm beginning to understand the crisis of masculinity as a crisis of absences.' Sandy Campbell, Pete Seaman, David Torrance and Jon Carnochan engage with the difficulties and contradictions of modern masculinity in their book 'On being a man'. After decades of focus on femininity and the role of women in society, have men begun to lose their way? Man or woman, come along to contribute to the conversation.

24 March
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

The whereabouts of Alastair Reid

Alastair Reid

Alan Taylor, Editor of the 'Scottish Review of Books', remembers Alastair Reid, a lifelong itinerant. Born in Whithorn, Galloway, Reid travelled widely, first in Spain, then in Latin and South America and the USA. A poet, essayist and translator, he had a long association with the 'New Yorker' magazine, writing about his experiences and his friendships with other writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, and Robert Graves.

26 March
18.00
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


 

Knit your own Broons

Cover: Knit your own Broons

From the authors of 'Knit your own Britain' and 'Knit your own Scotland' comes the detailed and humorous guide to knitting your characters from 'The Broons'. Costume-maker Jackie Holt and prop-designer Ruth Bailey will be talking about their newest knitted designs and showing you the real-life knitted creations. This will be followed by a book signing and a hands-on workshop where you can begin to create your own character.

30 March
17.45 (2 hours)
Free. Book online or phone 0131 623 3734.


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