The first reader's ticket

William Dickson's letter
The letter
Donald J Ross
D J Ross
William K Dickson
W K Dickson

'Dear Sir,
I have pleasure in sending you a Reader's Ticket. I apologise for a somewhat makeshift ticket, - our new stationery is not yet complete. You are our first Reader under the new regime.'

So wrote William K Dickson, the first Librarian of the newly established National Library of Scotland, on 30 October 1925. The Library had been set up by an Act of Parliament on 7 August that year. It had formally come into being on 26 October and took over from the Advocates Library as Scotland's premier reference library.

The first reader

The old reading room which D J Ross would have used
The old reading room.

The first request to use the National Library's reading room was made by the Rev Donald J Ross, at that time a minister in Stirling.

His 'makeshift' ticket was replaced a short time later (possibly in November) with a properly printed, back-dated, version of reader's ticket number one. This gave him permission to read in the Library for three months.

Mr Dickson's letter and the two copies of the first ticket issued by the Library have been kindly donated to us by Mrs Fiona Stark, Mr Ross's granddaughter.


The final version
The final version.
The makeshift ticket
The temporary ticket.

Brief biographies


A brief history of NLS

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