'Chimney map' on display in Edinburgh
A once-disintegrating 17th-century Dutch map, painstakingly restored by the National Library of Scotland, is now on public display.
Delivered to the Library in plastic sack, the near-ruined antique map was so fragmented that some of it resembled confetti. Conservation work has resulted in the map being cleaned and reassembled, with fragments re-attached that had fallen off.
Significant sections have disintegrated and been lost, but enough remains of Dutch engraver Gerald Valck's map to tell a fascinating story.
Because it was first said to have been found stuffed up a chimney in an Aberdeenshire house, it became known as 'the chimney map'. Now it appears to have originally been discovered under a floorboard during restoration of a house on the estate of Castle Fraser, owned by the National Trust for Scotland.
The map is on show in the Library's George IV Bridge building in Edinburgh until 17 April.
13 March 2017
Read Henrietta Liston's North American journals
Experience the early United States through the eyes of a diplomat's wife who was a spirited observer of life in the new country.
A new National Library of Scotland website provides access to Henrietta Liston's handwritten North America journals.
Just 13 years after America fought Great Britain to win its independence, Henrietta arrived in the U.S. with her Scottish husband, Robert, who was British Minister to the United States.
Over the course of the five years between 1796 and 1801, the couple helped to restore good relations between the two countries. They became friends with the first President, George Washington, and other Founding Fathers.
Henrietta records the developing relationship in the nine journals that are available on the website, 'The North American journeys of a diplomat's wife'.
Full of fascinating insights, the journals tell of life at the heart of the new nation and of the Listons' travels across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. An interactive map offers a way of searching by places Henrietta and Robert visited on their tours.
See also our Henrietta Liston media release
8 March 2017
Innovation award for Kelvin Hall
Just months after opening, the National Library of Scotland's new centre at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow has won an innovation award for outstanding library projects.
Organised by Edinburgh City Libraries, the EDGE awards recognise excellence in library-based initiatives across the UK.
The National Library at Kelvin Hall won the award for innovation in the development of physical buildings or spaces. Kelvin Hall shows what libraries can be in the 21st century, through the extensive use of touch screens to view film content and computers to give access to the National Library's vast digital resources.
It also offers visitors a discovery area, with displays on life in Scotland, both past and present. The displays look at Scots at work, at home and having fun down the years.
3 March 2017
Beautiful bound books on display
Claudia Richter and Nicky Oliver,
with National Librarian Dr John Scally.
Bookbinders from Finland to Spain have taken part in a prestigious design competition, organised by the National Library of Scotland.
All of the entries to the Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition are now on display until March 7 in the entrance hall of the Library at George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.
This year's winners have been named as:
- Best creative binding — Nicky Oliver, London, UK
- Best craft binding — Claudia Richter, Germany
- Best creative binding, student award — Geert Stevens, Belgium
- Best craft binding, student award — Pilar Herreros de Tejada, Spain.
The Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition began in 1993 to recognise excellence in the field of craft bookbinding.
Read more in our bookbinding media release.
27 February 2017