Bookbinding excellence recognised
The Best Competition Entrant prize in the Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition was presented to James Thorburn from Scotland at a short ceremony in the National Library of Scotland on Thursday 19 December. The prize for Best Student Entrant went to Katerina Smedberg from Sweden. Started ten years ago, the competition annually attracts interest from throughout Britain and Europe, and occasionally further afield. A fuller report on this year's event will appear early in January. For general details about the competition, see our Awards page.
20 December 2002
Saltire Awards ceremony at the Library
As well as sponsoring one of the of the competition's prizes, the National Library of Scotland recently hosted the Saltire Literary Awards ceremony, attended by writers, publishers, members of the Library's Board of Trustees and Library staff.
This year's 'Book of the Year' prize was presented to Janice Galloway for Clara, which tells the story of Clara Schumann, 19th-century virtuoso pianist and wife of composer Robert Schumann. The First Book award, for a work by an author who has not had a book published previously, was shared by Louise Welsh (The Cutting Room) and Liam McIlvanney (Burns The Radical). Joint winners of the Library's prize, the NLS Research Book of the Year, were Ray McKenzie (Public Sculpture of Glasgow) and Christopher Whyte (editor, Sorley Maclean's Dàin do Eimhir).
The Saltire Literary Awards are announced annually on a date close to St Andrew's Day, 30 November. Apart from award sponsorship, the Library's close involvement with the event takes the form of organising the ceremony and providing the venue in the George IV Bridge building.
Pictured are this year's winners (from left): Ray McKenzie; Janice Galloway; (back row) Liam McIlvanney; Louise Welsh; Christopher Whyte.
12 December 2002
Beekeeper's collection is one of the finest
A private reception on Friday 22 November marked the long-term deposit at the National Library of Scotland of 233 books owned by the Scottish Beekeepers' Association. The Moir Rare Book Collection was amassed by John William Moir (1851-1940), who took up beekeeping as a hobby in 1890, but only seriously began collecting bee literature from 1912. His enthusiasm for the subject helped him establish what is now recognised as one of the finest collections of rare books on beekeeping in the world.
The oldest of the Moir books is dated 1525. Other volumes include an Italian translation (from 1630) of poems by a Roman satirist, a book containing a two-part madrigal based on the sounds produced by bees (1634), and the work of a young Elgin man who built a press to print his own book - and even designed and cast the typeface for it (1834).
Many of the books are illustrated with intricate engravings. The one on the right is Melissographia from 1625, featuring enlarged drawings of bees which were produced using a microscope.
A brief history of Moir and his collection, together with selected illustrations, has been added to our website.
12 December 2002
Can you help us?
We are now planning the expansion of the Digital Library section of our website, which involves deciding on material to digitise for viewing online. If there are subjects you would particularly like to see added to this section, please let us know by E-mail at email@example.com.
6 December 2002