Open Book: A weekly shared reading group
This shared reading group is open to everyone. Drop in to our café to explore fiction and poetry in a relaxed, informal setting. There is no need to read or prepare anything in advance. Each session is facilitated by a volunteer from the Open Book project.
Free. No need to book, just come along on the day.
Getting started at the Library
A workshop offering advice on beginning to use the National Library of Scotland, including a tour of the General Reading Room. Discover how to search and request material and use the eResources. The workshop lasts approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. If you plan to join the Library, please arrive 15 minutes early in order to do so, and bring evidence of identity and proof of address, e.g. a passport and current driving licence. If you have access or other additional needs, please let us know when you book.
Thursday 13 February
Wednesday 11 March
Free. Book for 'Getting started at the Library' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Family history workshops
Come to this workshop to find out how the National Library of Scotland can help you trace your ancestors, using our huge range of resources. If you have discovered the outline of your family history or are wondering about the roots of your family tree, the Library can help. If you plan to join the Library, please arrive 15 minutes early in order to do so, and bring evidence of identity and proof of address, e.g. a passport and current driving licence.
Tuesday 25 February
Saturday 14 March
Free. Book a family history workshop on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
For more information about these workshops, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library Social: A programme of events for people affected by dementia
Visitors with dementia, and their families and supporters, are welcome to attend these regular Friday morning sessions. Refreshments will be provided.
Photography — the MacKinnon Collection
Join Photographer Eoin Carey to explore the art of photography.
Friday 14 February
Northern Lights — the Scottish Enlightenment
Discover the key characters and ideas from 18th-century Scotland.
Friday 13 March
Free. To book for 'Library Social', email Beverley Casebow, Learning and Outreach Officer, or phone 0131 623 3745.
Getting started in Special Collections
Discover how to access Scotland's most treasured material in this session. The National Library of Scotland holds nearly 10 million Special Collections items, including rare books and archives and manuscripts. This workshop offers the opportunity to find out more about them and how to access them. From botany to Byron, sonnets to Spark, this session can help you discover an exciting range of inspirational material, and offers guidance on how to conduct your research. If you plan to join the Library, please arrive 15 minutes early in order to do so, and bring evidence of identity and proof of address, e.g. a passport and current driving licence.
Wednesday 11 March
Free. Book 'Getting started in Special Collections' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Writing a year at the Library with Marjorie Lotfi Gill
We are running a series of creative writing workshops in Edinburgh on Fridays between January and March. You can attend all, or any, of the workshops in the series. Numbers are limited to 12 per workshop, so booking is essential. Each workshop is led by poet Marjorie Lotfi Gill. Read more about the writing workshops.
Friday 31 January
Friday 28 February
Friday 27 March
Free. Book 'Writing a year at the Library' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Family-friendly Saturdays at the Library
A programme of monthly creative workshops for families with children aged 5-8 years inspired by the VisitScotland 'Year of Coasts & Waters 2020'.
Flotsam and jetsam
Listen to stories of treasures and surprising objects washed up on the shore. Make your own family lighthouse or mermaid from found and recycled materials.
Saturday 15 February
Free. Book 'Family-friendly Saturdays — Flotsam and jetsam' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Seals, shellfish, and seabirds Discover tales of the animals and birds that live around Scotland's coastline. Create your own family seabird mobile to take home.
Saturday 21 March
Free. Book 'Family-friendly Saturdays — Seals, shellfish and seabirds' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Discover maps workshop
Learn about our collection of more than two million maps. Find everything from early manuscript and printed maps to the latest digital mapping. The session includes a general introduction to our maps collection, describing our treasures, and highlighting our map images website, with access to more than 200,000 maps. Following the one-hour introductory talk is a 30-minute supported session on the maps website. To take part in the supported session, please arrive 15 minutes early to join the Library. Please bring evidence of identity and proof of address, e.g. a passport and current driving licence.
Saturday 22 February
Venue: Room 1130, George IV Bridge building, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW. Please meet at the information desk.
Free. Book 'Discover maps workshop' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Maps for family and local history
Find out how maps can help with your family history or local history research in this introductory talk and question and answer session. Learn about the range of historical maps at the National Library of Scotland, and the information they provide. Discover more than 200,000 maps on our map images website. Learn how to use our geo-referenced, side by side and spy tool viewers, and how to print and buy maps. The workshop lasts approximately 90 minutes in total.
Friday 20 March
Venue: Maps Reading Room, 33 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SL.
Free. Book 'Maps for family and local history' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Northern Lights: The Scottish Enlightenment
Accessible tours of our exhibition
Our Learning and Outreach Officer leads two accessible tours of our exhibition Northern Lights: The Scottish Enlightenment. The amplified tour includes a portable hearing loop, and the audio-described tour is for those with visual impairments. The exhibition explores the contributions of Scots intellectuals to this epoch of flourishing artistic and scientific progress. It includes works by many of the notable figures of the Enlightenment including David Hume, William Robertson, Robert Burns and Adam Smith.
Wednesday 19 February (audio-described tour)
Tuesday 17 March (amplified tour)
Both tours are free.
Book for 'audio-described exhibition tour' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Book for 'amplified exhibition tour' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Venue: George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW. Please meet at the information desk.