Web features

Web features highlighting items with a focus on creativity in the National Library of Scotland (NLS) collections, with interpretation and background information.


12 key Scottish plays

Overviews of key plays in contemporary Scottish theatre including:

  • 'The Slab Boys'
  • 'Mary Queen of Scots got her head chopped off'
  • 'Black Watch'.

Site includes responses to the works and a selection of items relating to writing and performing the works.

Curriculum Areas: Drama (Higher, Advanced Higher)


Slezer's Scotland

John Slezer was a 17th-century military engineer who travelled Scotland making detailed prints of towns and buildings across the country. This feature highlights the process of engraving and you can search images by town or theme.

Curriculum Areas: Art and Design (Standard Grade, Higher, Advanced Higher)


Pencils of Light

Website featuring images from some of the earliest photograph albums in the world. An interesting introduction to calotype photographic process.

Useful for students and teachers studying photography and history of photography.

Curriculum Areas: Art and Design (Standard Grade, Higher, Advanced Higher)


Phoebe Anna Traquair

Phoebe Anna Traquair was the first professional female artist in Scotland and a key member of the Arts and Crafts movement. Site features one of the NLS treasures - Traquair's illustrated manuscript of 'Sonnets from the Portuguese' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Curriculum Areas: Art and Design (Standard Grade, Higher, Advanced Higher)


The photographs of John Thomson

Find out about Scottish photographer and traveller John Thomson, who helped pioneer photojournalism on London's Victorian streets.


Creativity main page

Library video guides

Man using laptop seated at table

Watch our video guides to find out how to access National Library of Scotland resources from home, school or in person.

The ideas factory

Ideas Factory graphic

Plan the story you want to tell before you start writing it. Go to 'The ideas factory'

Themes in focus

Drawing of Alasdair Gray

Learn about the creative processes used by Scottish writer and artist Alasdair Gray.

Library favourites

Sally Harrower

An introduction to the 7:84 Scotland Company theatre archive. Watch video

Library learning for you

If there's a topic you'd like more information about, or if you have any suggestions for learning, email us.

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