The survival of the Union of the Crowns
'Unpopular and ramshackle' is one description of the Union of the Crowns between Scotland and England that placed a Scottish king on the English throne in 1603. It was certainly a remarkable event, but unwelcome in some quarters. According to a leading historian, the political skills and personal charm of the Scottish king who succeeded Elizabeth I as English monarch were what made it work.
Dr Jenny Wormald, of St Hilda's College at Oxford University, is something of an authority on James VI and I, who was a great British enthusiast - 'until he discovered that no-one else agreed with him'. In 'O Brave New World?', a lecture at the Library on Thursday 3 April at 7pm, Dr Wormald will look at the problems of the union and 'its resilience despite them'. To book a free ticket, please phone 0131-622 4807, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Library shop in the George VI Bridge Building.
28 March 2003
Scottish History in Print
Two outstanding contemporary commentaries on the 1745 Jacobite rebellion go online for the first time today, together with records of thousands of important historical sources, as part of a new National Library of Scotland web feature.
For the professional and amateur historian alike, our new resource, Scottish History in Print, offers a searchable listing of documents published by historical clubs and societies in Scotland which can be consulted in the National Library of Scotland and other libraries. Its remarkable contents include such items as the parish records of Rothesay from 1658 to 1750, charters from old Scottish burghs, and shipping records from Dumfries and Galloway in 1820.
In addition, two key resources have been scanned using the latest technology for optical character recognition (OCR), making the electronic copy of every page fully searchable. The Lyon in Mourning is a collection of speeches, letters and journals relating to Prince Charles Edward Stewart, compiled between 1746 and 1775. The prince's time in Scotland from 1745 to 1746 is the subject of The Itinerary of Prince Charles Edward Stewart, and the online version features a detailed, zoomable map of his journeys round the country.
To search the documents database or the Jacobite commentaries, go to Scottish History in Print.
21 March 2003
New on the Electronic Resources Network
The second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is now available for consultation through our Electronic Resources Network. The electronic version of this great authoritative work includes The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and carries bonuses such as special features on items of current interest and 22 new biographies of contemporary performers.
Also new to the network is Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. This database lists 250,000 serial titles from over 200 countries, making it a valuable research tool. Updated every week, it links to tables of contents and full-text articles.
For the full list of titles, see the Electronic Resources Network page.
21 March 2003
Book launch: Heaven-Taught Fergusson
An event at the Library next week marks the publishing of a new book on the life and works of Robert Fergusson (1750-1774). The Edinburgh poet, whose work demonstrated a genius for Scots poetry and a gift for satire, was the inspiration for Robert Burns, and highly regarded among contemporary writers. Heaven-Taught Fergusson is a new study by Robert Crawford, himself a poet and the head of the School of English at St Andrews University, who will speak about the 'sadly neglected' Fergusson at the launch in the George IV Bridge Building on Tuesday 25 March (7pm). Tickets are free and should be booked in advance: please phone 0131-622 4807, E-mail email@example.com, or visit the Library shop.
14 March 2003
Seven-year search culminates in new Scott catalogue
A unique catalogue goes online today which documents for the first time the locations of almost 14,000 letters from or to one of the 19th century's most renowned and prolific writers. During his lifetime, Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was famed throughout Europe as the author of nearly 30 novels and a series of long romantic poems. With political and social interests ranging far beyond his Scottish homeland, he was also an enthusiastic letter-writer, whose correspondents included prominent politicians, scientists, painters, and actors.
Many of Scott's letters survive, housed in more than 1,300 public and private collections all over the world - around 10,000 are in the National Library of Scotland - and the seven-year project to trace and list their whereabouts was one of dedicated investigation for Professor Jane Millgate of the University of Toronto.
The Library's collection of Scott manuscripts is arguably the finest and largest accumulation of such material relating to any one author held by any library, so it is appropriate that this comprehensive new resource should be made available by Professor Millgate via our website. The catalogue's search facility, created by the Library, is extensive, making it an invaluable tool for Scott scholars and admirers worldwide.
- Read the detailed story of Jane Millgate's 'detective work' in our press release.
- View our section on the Millgate Union Catalogue of Walter Scott Correspondence.
7 March 2003
New on the Electronic Resources Network
Two resources focusing on women's writing are now part of the Library's collection of subscription online journals and CD-ROMs, known as the 'Electronic Resources Network', which is accessible in our George IV Bridge Building.
Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period is a large body of poetry written by 51 women between 1789 and 1832 and contained in more than 60 volumes. The collection presents views that range from 'devout Calvinist moralism to rollicking bawdiness', in everything from sentimental verse to politically committed poetry. Biographical information and selected critical essays add to this unusual database, which features rare volumes held in very few libraries.
The thoughts and experiences of 91 women, covering around 400 years and a rich range of subjects, are brought together in British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries 1500-1900. Famous women make up part of the collection: Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Queen Victoria are among recognisable names. Their writings can be compared with those of ordinary women from all walks of life - coming together in a source bibliography designed to be the most comprehensive in the world on this subject. To be completed in stages during this year, the final database will include more than 100,000 full-text pages, with deep-indexing allowing in-depth browsing and searching.
7 March 2003