RSS News Feed  RSS
Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Events | exhibitions


Library sets out future plans and objectives

2015 National Library strategy cover

The National Library of Scotland has set out a series of plans which aim to make it one of the leading national libraries in Europe.

Its new strategy, 'The way forward 2015-2020', contains six key objectives which aim to increase the number of people who use and benefit from the Library's internationally renowned collections.

There are plans to transform the Library into a national digital library and have a third of the collection in digital format by 2025.

This will mean that people will be able to consult large parts of the collection online, rather than having to physically visit the Library's buildings.


Research and learning

At the same time, in its future plans the Library reaffirms the importance of the physical book and of the Library as a physical destination.

Other priorities include promoting and encouraging research, and using its collections to support learning and education for people of all ages across Scotland and further afield.

National Librarian Dr John Scally said: 'We are the guardian of the published and recorded memory of Scotland for current and future generations and our aim is to make the knowledge held within our collections as widely available as possible.'

Find out more:

21 September 2015


Celebrating the centenary of 'The thirty-nine steps'

Book cover showing man leaping from a train
Pan edition of
'The thirty-nine steps', 1949

John Buchan's classic adventure story 'The thirty-nine steps' is the subject of a treasures display at the National Library of Scotland.

Celebrating the centenary of its publication, the display brings together various editions of the book, with supporting items from the novel's locations and time period.

Although today we would call it a thriller, John Buchan described 'The thirty-nine steps' as a 'shocker'. He started writing it as a diversion while recovering from illness in 1914.

The story was serialised in 'Blackwood's Magazine' from July to September 1915, under a pseudonym. It was then published in book form in Buchan's name in October that year.

Immediately popular, the book has never been out of print.

Hero Richard Hannay's spy chase through Scotland has also inspired several film adaptations, most famously by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935.

Highlights of the display include:

  • The story's first appearance in print
  • Three letters from John Buchan about the writing of the book
  • Original artwork from the first book edition
  • A typed script of the 1935 Hitchcock film adaptation.

'"The thirty-nine steps" – one hundred years on' runs from 10 September to 22 November.

Read more in our 'The thirty-nine steps' media release

10 September 2015


Library selected to host Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship

Creative Scotland logoThe National Library of Scotland has been selected to host the third annual Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship.

Inaugurated by Creative Scotland in 2013, the Fellowship provides writers with time and support to develop their writing, in combination with a host organisation.

The Fellow will be invited to explore and be inspired by the ways in which the Library’s collections reflect Scotland's past and present. This year's theme for the 2015-2016 Fellowship is 'the recorded memory of Scotland'.

As Portfolio Manager for Literature, Publishing and Language at Creative Scotland, Dr Gavin Wallace was a central figure in Scotland's literary world.

The Fellowship news was announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 24 August, at the launch of Kirsty Logan's book 'A portable shelter'. Kirsty was the recipient of the first Fellowship in 2013.

Fellows receive an award of £20,000 and host organisations are granted £5,000. Details about how writers can apply to become the next Dr Gavin Wallace Fellow will be announced in the coming months.

Read the Creative Scotland press release

25 August 2015


Hamish MacDonald to take up Scots language role

Photo of new Scots Scriever, Hamish MacDonaldA Scots Scriever has been appointed for the first time to promote the use of the Scots language across Scotland.

Author and playwright Hamish MacDonald will be based at the National Library of Scotland for a two-year residency.

In his new role he will produce original, creative work in Scots — any variant or dialect — in any genre or discipline. He will also be responsible for raising the profile, understanding and appreciation of creative work in the Scots language, including material held at the Library.

Scots poet and novelist Matthew Fitt said: 'Hamish MacDonald is yin o oor finest Scots writers. He has been scrievin and fechtin for the leid for a lang time and his appointment as National Scots Scriever is weel-deserved.'

The Scots Scriever appointment is a joint initiative between the Library and Creative Scotland.

Read more in our Scriever appointment media release

13 August 2015


Early Miffy editions on display for her 60th birthday

60 years of Miffy logoVisitors to the National Library of Scotland can view rare early editions of the children's book 'Miffy' for a week in August

This year is Miffy the rabbit's 60th birthday. The character, created by Dick Bruna, first appeared in Dutch as 'Nijntje' in 1955.

To celebrate, visitors can see the very first English language edition from 1964. Tony Mitton's 2014 translation will also be on display, along with some of the earliest and most recent books in the series.

The books will be on display in the foyer of the George IV Bridge building, from 12-17 August. Miffy fans can also attend Miffy's birthday party at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 16 August.

11 August 2015

 News archive

Past news stories since September 2002 are available in our news archive.

Speak me