Discover the private lives of books

Part of illustration in R L Stevenson collection of children's poetry

Authors J K Rowling and Alexander McCall Smith and football manager Sir Alex Ferguson are among contributors to The Private Lives of Books at the National Library of Scotland. Opening on Saturday 13 November, this free exhibition features books belonging to famous Scots and ordinary people which have a special significance for them, illustrating the relationships that develop between books and their owners.

As well present-day Scots, famous figures from the past have a book on show — including Robert Louis Stevenson, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Hector Berlioz.

Books themselves can tell us something of their history, even if they weren't owned by anyone notable. As exhibits from the Library's collections have revealed, inscriptions, bookplates and bindings are clues to a secret story, and the exhibition shows what you need to know to become a 'book detective'.

'The Private Lives of Books' is open daily in our George IV Bridge Building and runs until 31 January. You'll find more detail in our exhibition press release.

11 November 2004

Speak me