Campbeltown cinema papers given to National Library
Important papers that tell of the early days of cinema in Scotland have been donated to the National Library of Scotland.
They come from Campbeltown Picture House which opened in 1913 and is the oldest in Scotland that has been used continuously as a cinema. It is about to re-open after a £3.5 million refurbishment.
The charity that runs the cinema has decided to donate its historic paper records to the National Library's Moving Image Archive, based at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow. They will add to the Library's rich bank of knowledge about the development of cinema in Scotland.
Find out more in the Campbeltown archive media release.
14 November 2017
Events programme to mark Muriel Spark centenary
in the 1980s.
A year-long celebration of the life and work of Dame Muriel Spark opens today (26 October).
'Muriel Spark 100' is being organised jointly by the National Library and Creative Scotland to pay tribute to one of Scotland's most important novelists.
The first details of a nationwide programme of events to mark the centenary of Spark's birth have been released on the Muriel Spark 100 website. Already planned are:
- The publication of new editions of all 22 of Spark's novels
- A major exhibition based on her archive, which is held at the Library
- An international academic conference exploring different aspects of her writing
- A walking tour of the places that inspired her in Edinburgh
- A series of BBC radio programmes in which leading Scottish writers reflect on her achievements.
National Librarian Dr John Scally said: 'The opportunity to celebrate the life and work of Dame Muriel Spark is as exciting a prospect as opening one of her books for the very first time. The activities planned over the coming year promise to be lively, varied and engaging.'
Creative Scotland is also offering grants of up to £1,500 to help artists and groups develop new work inspired by Spark's writing as part of the centenary year.
Find out more in the Muriel Spark 100 media release.
26 October 2017
Highlighting the early years of the Protestant Reformation
Key documents from 500 years ago that tell of the start of the Protestant Reformation have gone on show.
A display at the National Library of Scotland includes an extremely rare copy of a Latin text that helped change the course of history.
This item is the first ever printing of 95 theses produced by the monk Martin Luther in 1517. Luther's theses challenged the Catholic Church and were intended to spark academic debate.
However, his criticisms were soon taken up by followers who spread the message using the relatively new invention of the printing press. And after they were translated into German, Luther's 95 theses quickly gained widespread popularity.
Entitled 'The Reformation: What was it all about?', the display also features a rare copy of a papal bull of 1521. Issued by Pope Leo X, it severed Luther's ties with the Catholic Church when he was excommunicated.
The free display in Edinburgh runs until 14 January.
Read more in the Reformation display media release.
19 October 2017
Appeal for historic Mòd programme
The National Library of Scotland has launched an appeal to find the programme from the first National Mòd, held in 1892.
A similar appeal last year brought the programmes for the Mòds held in 1893 and 1894 into the Library's growing collection of Gaelic material. These were kindly gifted by the family of a former President of An Comunn Gaidhealach, Donald Thomson.
Preparations are being made for the opening of this year's Mòd in Lochaber on Friday (13 October). Once again the Library is asking the Gaelic community to help fill gaps in the national collection by giving it Gaelic pamphlets and leaflets from home which are no longer needed.
The Library is taking part in this year's Mòd for the third year running. It will have an information stand and will be running events as part of a continuing commitment to the Gaelic language.
Read more in the Mòd programme appeal media release.
11 October 2017
'Secret' text tells of feud between explorers
A famous feud between two great Victorian explorers is laid bare in a book that was meant to remain secret.
The National Library of Scotland has acquired what is thought to be one of only five copies still in existence of a family edition of the book, which gives details of the feud between John Hanning Speke and Sir Richard Burton.
In 1858, Speke discovered the source of the Nile — a claim Burton strongly challenged.
Speke wrote about this in 1864 in his book 'What Led to the Discovery of the Source of the Nile'. In it he originally referred to his feud with Burton, but was persuaded to leave this out of the final publication.
A special edition of 12 copies containing his thoughts on the dispute with Burton was printed, although only for distribution within Speke's family. It is one of these that has now been added to the National Library's collection.
Dr Graham Hogg, a Rare Books Curator at the Library, said this is thought to be the only copy held by any public institution and freely available for consultation by the public.
Read more in our Speke book media release.
6 September 2017