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.
Writing A Year at the Library
with Marjorie Lotfi Gill
In September we are running a series of creative writing workshops in Edinburgh. The workshops are open to all aspiring writers and everyone is welcome. The sessions will cover all types of creative writing — prose, poetry and memoir. Each workshop is led by poet Marjorie Lotfi Gill.
Friday 20 September
This workshop is fully booked..
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.
Hamish Henderson: Folklorist, songwriter, poet
Explore the legacy of Hamish Henderson with singer-songwriter Steve Byrne.
Friday 11 October
A curious herbal Discover the fascinating life of botanical illustrator Elizabeth Blackwell (1707-1758) with storyteller and medical herbalist Amanda Edmiston.
Friday 8 November
Yuletide songs, poems, and tunes Celebrate the festive season with poet Valerie Gillies and fiddler Laure Paterson.
Friday 13 December
Free. To book for 'Library Social', email Beverley Casebow, Learning and Outreach Officer, or phone 0131 623 3745.
Getting started in Special Collections
Learn how to access Scotland's most treasured material. The Library holds nearly ten million Special Collections items, including rare books and archives and manuscripts. If you would like to learn how to access them then come along to our Special Collections workshop to find out more. From Botany to Byron, Sonnets to Spark, this session can help you discover an exciting range of material to inspire you, and offers guidance on how to conduct your research.
Wednesday 16 October
Free. Book 'Getting started in Special Collections' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Maps for family and local history
Discover how maps can help with ancestral or local history research. Learn about the information historical maps of Scotland can provide. Explore 200,000 maps on our map images website, use our geo-referenced viewing tools and find out how to print and buy maps. This introductory talk, and question and answer session, lasts an hour, followed by a 30-minute supported session on the maps website. To participate in this session, you will need to have registered for a library card.
Saturday 26 October
Venue: George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW. Please meet at the information desk.
Free. Book 'Maps for family and local history' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Family history workshops
If you have discovered the outline of your family history or are wondering about the roots of your family tree, the Library can help. Come to our workshop to find out how the Library can help you trace your ancestors, using the Library’s huge range of resources. If you plan to register for a library card, please bring evidence of identity with you.
Tuesday 8 October
Thursday 14 November
Saturday 7 December
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 17 October
Tuesday 5 November
Thursday 5 December
Free. Book for 'Getting started' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Discover maps workshop
We have more than two million maps in our collection. From early atlases to the latest digital mapping, discover the treasures of our map collections, and explore over 200,000 maps available on our map images website. This talk includes a general introduction to our map collections, and we show you how to use georeferenced overlays, side-by-side views, 3D and spy tools. You will also discover how to print and buy maps.
Tuesday 12 November
Venue: Maps Reading Room, 33 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh EH9 1SL.
Free. Book 'Discover maps workshop' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Doors Open Day at George IV Bridge
The National Library of Scotland is Scotland's largest library. Take this opportunity to learn more about the collections and the history of its impressive building. See behind the scenes, including a visit to 'The Void', a rarely seen area beneath George IV Bridge. Accompanying our main Scottish Enlightenment exhibition are special 'Doors Open Day' displays about the history, architecture, and opening of the National Library building in 1956. Tours run throughout the day, each lasting approximately one hour, starting at the reception desk. There is a maximum of 15 places on each tour, which can be booked in advance.
Saturday 28 September
Tours at 09.30, 11.00, 12.30, 14.00, 15.00 and 16.00
Free. All tours are fully booked.
Doors Open Day tours at Causewayside
The Library's Causewayside building is an iconic piece of modern architecture which has recently undergone major renovations. This is a rare chance to see behind the scenes and discover the range of activities it houses, including acquisitions, cataloguing, digitisation, map consultation and storage. Take this opportunity to learn more about the collections and the history of this impressive building. Tours last approximately one hour. There is a maximum of 15 places on each tour, which can be booked in advance.
Saturday 28 September
10.00, 11.00, 12.00, 13.30, 14.30 and 15.30
Free. All tours are fully booked.