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Events | exhibitions


Double win for Mariscat Press

Jim Carruth, Hamish Whyte and Darryl Meade
Jim Carruth, Hamish Whyte, and
Darryl Mead, Deputy National Librarian.

Mariscat Press has won both prizes in the pamphlet poetry publishing competition held annually at the National Library of Scotland.

The winning pamphlet in the 2015 Callum Macdonald Memorial Award is 'Prodigal' by Jim Carruth, who is the Glasgow Makar (poet laureate). 'A witch among the gooseberries' by Ian McDonough is runner-up.

As the pamphlets' publishers, Mariscat Press receives £800 for the first prize and £400 for second prize.

The author of the winning pamphlet is eligible for a two-week residency in Greece in July as the Michael Marks Poet in Residence at Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies.

Established in 1982 and run by Hamish Whyte, Mariscat Press is one of the oldest small publishing houses in Scotland. It previously won the award in 2011.

Read more in our publishing award media release.

15 May 2015


Historic political papers to be made available online

The spines of volumes of House of Lords papers

Access is being opened up to valuable House of Lords papers that go to the heart of 19th century British political history.

A project to digitise the papers will give free online access to National Library of Scotland registered readers with a Scottish address. At present they can only consult this parliamentary material by visiting the Library in person.


Few surviving collections

The National Library has one of the very few surviving collections of House of Lords papers.

Although the influence of the Lords diminished in the 19th century, more British Prime Ministers served in the Lords in this period than in the House of Commons. The papers provide an insight into areas of social, political, economic and foreign policy.


Commitment to access

Dr John Scally, Scotland’s National Librarian, said the project is part of the Library’s commitment to open up its collections to as many people as possible.

Led by the Library and the global technology company ProQuest, the project is expected to be completed later this year.

The papers will be added to the Library's licensed digital collections, which includes e-books, e-journals, and reference works.

Read more in our House of Lords papers media release.

14 May 2015


View more films of Scotland

Over 100 more films are available to watch via the National Library of Scotland's Scottish Screen Archive catalogue.

Launched with the films is a new video player which suits a wider range of devices, such as iPad and iPhone.

The newly digitised footage spans around seven decades, dating from as early as 1918, and includes amateur and professional productions. It includes:

Explore the screen archive catalogue to view more than 1,700 film clips and full-length films online.

14 May 2015


Shortlist announced for 2015 pamphlet poetry competition

'The angel and the aipple'
The 2014 winner was
Perjink Press.

Six publishers have been shortlisted for the annual pamphlet poetry prize at the National Library of Scotland.

The Callum Macdonald Memorial Award recognises outstanding examples of pamphlet poetry publishing with a connection to Scotland or Scottish culture.

This year's shortlist is:

  • Annie Reid Press of Balerno for 'Through a rear-view mirror' by Marjorie Mitchell
  • Mariscat Press of Edinburgh for 'Prodigal' by Jim Carruth
  • Mariscat Press of Edinburgh for 'A witch among the gooseberries' by Ian McDonough
  • Red Squirrel Press of Morpeth for 'Greetings from Glasgow' by Chris Young
  • The Shed Press of Balmullo for 'Seeing the wood for the trees' by Jenny Elliott
  • Valloria Press of Glasgow for 'Chasing winter dragons' by Ann Rawson.

The winner of the 2015 award will be announced at a ceremony in the Library on 14 May.

23 April 2015


Celebrating Mary Midgley

Mary Midgley

Scientific philosopher Dr Mary Midgley receives the Edinburgh Medal in a ceremony this evening (7 April) at the Edinburgh Science Festival.

We commemorate the life and work of this thought-provoking writer and thinker with a small display in our George IV Bridge Building.

Along with a selection of Dr Midgley's own work are books by others who have inspired her, including James Lovelock, Jane Goodall and Iris Murdoch.

Visitors to the building can also see a copy of the journal article presenting her critical assessment of Richard Dawkins' book 'The selfish gene'.

The material is on display until 17 April. Read more about Mary Midgley on the Science Festival website.

7 April 2015


Display celebrates the iconic Forth Bridge

A new display at the National Library of Scotland celebrates the construction of the Forth Rail Bridge 125 years ago.

'The Forth Bridge: Building an icon' exhibits items from Library collections to tell the story of the bridge's eight-year development.

Detailed plans, photographs of construction and an original copy of the opening ceremony lunch menu demonstrate the atmosphere of celebration that surrounded the bridge's opening on 4 March 1890.

Among key items in the display are:

  • The diary of a tourist who visited the Forth Bridge on his holiday in Scotland in 1890
  • Newspaper articles about the opening ceremony, including the Prince of Wales hammering in the final rivet
  • Weekly photos of bridge construction during 1886-1887 taken by Philip Phillips
  • A photographic demonstration of the cantilever principle using human subjects.

Manuscripts Curator Alison Metcalfe hopes that 'this display will show some of the ingenuity involved in its construction and help to remember the sacrifice of so many who lost their lives when it was being built.'

The display is open daily from 1 April to 21 June, and entry is free.

Read more in our Forth Bridge display media release.

1 April 2015

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