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.
Tours of Treasures display:
'Strike for Freedom: Slavery, Civil War, and the Frederick Douglass family'
Our new Treasures display, opening on Thursday 4 October, charts the life and work of Frederick Douglass with previously unseen letters, speeches and photographs of the Douglass family. Born into slavery in 1818, self-emancipated author and activist Frederick Douglass is the most famous freedom-fighter in US history. Arriving in Edinburgh in 1846, he became 'Scotland's antislavery agent' and campaigned for social justice. Professor Celeste-Marie Bernier, Chair of Black Studies at the University of Edinburgh, leads tours of the display which reveals the romance, tragedy, hope, despair, love, war, protest, and friendship in the lives of the Douglass family as they worked together for a new dawn of freedom. Numbers are limited to 10 per tour.
Wednesday 28 November
Thursday 31 January 2019
Free. Book for 'Tours of Treasures display' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Library Social: A programme of events for people affected by dementia
The 'Social' programme is a joint initiative between the National Library of Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland, the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, and the National Museums of Scotland. Visitors with dementia, plus their friends, families and supporters are welcome to attend these regular Friday morning sessions. Events at the Library take place in our George IV Bridge building on the second Friday of each month, with refreshments provided. Meet at Information Desk.
Pop-up Christmas: Explore pop-up books, and make pop-up cards and decorations
Friday 14 December
Free. Book 'Library Social' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3745.
Getting started at the Library
If you don't know where to start and you'd like a tour of the General Reading Room, then come to this workshop. Find out how to search and request material from our collections and use the eResources. If you plan to register for a library card when you visit, please bring evidence of identity and confirmation of your address, e.g. a passport and current driving licence. The workshop lasts approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. If you have specific access or other additional needs, please let us know when you book.
Thursday 6 December
Free. Book 'Getting started' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Discovering family history
Have you discovered the outline of your family history? Come to our workshop to find out how to use the Library's huge range of resources. If you plan to register for a library card, please bring evidence of identity with you.
Wednesday 5 December
City of Edinburgh Walking Tours:
Black Freedom Trail
For Black social justice campaigners who had been born into US chattel slavery in the 19th-century, Edinburgh was a city of freedom. Join us on one of these walking tours to see where African-American women and men lived and worked as they fought to end slavery, lynch law and segregation. Highlights include places where Frederick Douglass, Jesse Glasgow Jr., Ida B Wells, Josiah Henson, William and Ellen Craft, Amanda Smith and Moses Roper delivered inspirational speeches to thousands. Each tour lasts approximately 90 minutes. Please note: the tours are not wheelchair accessible.
Wednesday 28 November
These tours are now all fully booked.
Guided tour of the Library
Enjoy a guided tour of the building and introduction to the National Library's collections and history. Our Library is the largest in Scotland and a treasure trove just waiting to be discovered. The tour will last approximately 45 minutes. Numbers are limited, so booking is essential. Please let us know if you have special access requirements.
Tuesday 11 December
Free. Book a guided tour on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Writing A Year at the Library
with Marjorie Lotfi Gill
In November we are running a series of creative writing workshops in Edinburgh. Each workshop is led by poet Marjorie Lotfi Gill and is open to all aspiring writers.
These workshops are now fully booked.