Lottery bid decision on archive funding is deferred
The decision on a bid for funding to enable the National Library of Scotland to buy the multi-million-pound John Murray Archive has been deferred by the Heritage Lottery Fund until January 2005.
HLF trustees met on 20 July to consider applications for lottery funding, one of which was the Library's bid for £22 million towards the cost of buying the world-renowned literary archive for the nation. While supporting the John Murray collection, they decided that more time was needed to consider how to fund the Library's application.
National Librarian Martyn Wade said of the decision: 'We welcome the HLF's support and commitment to the project, and the National Library of Scotland will do everything it can to work with the HLF and other partners to ensure that this magnificent archive remains in the United Kingdom.'
The collection - which includes letters and manuscripts from famous writers such as Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott and David Livingstone - has been offered to the Library by John Murray VII, a descendant of the Murray publishing family that was based in London. Support for its purchase by the Library has already been given by the Scottish Executive, in the form of a £6.5 million grant. Culture Minister Frank McAveety understands the HLF's funding pressures, but expressed disappointment that no decision has yet been made on awarding the amount requested.
For further information, read our press release
20 July 2004
Muriel Spark — dedicated writer and hoarder
The newest feature to be added to the National Library of Scotland website offers a unique resource for anyone interested in the life and work of the author considered to be Scotland's greatest living novelist.
Several years before her first novel went into print in 1957, Muriel Spark decided to keep a record of her activities, beginning a collection of material that is now the most comprehensive personal record relating to a Scottish author held by the Library. That the archive is so extensive is due to the fact that the writer, in her own words, is 'a hoarder of two things — documents and friends'.
A small selection from the world's largest Muriel Spark Archive can be viewed in our web feature, which has been produced with Dame Muriel's approval and assistance. Notebooks, photographs, letters — from famous names such as Elizabeth Taylor and Graham Greene — and even a library ticket are among the items that contribute professional and personal details to the story of her career.
The site's official launch coincided with the return to Edinburgh of the Library's travelling display 'Dame Muriel Spark — Scottish by Formation', which opened today at the Writers' Museum in Lady Stair's Close and runs until October 30. At the opening ceremony, Christine Lloyd, founder and chairman of the Muriel Spark Society, read out part of a personal message from Dame Muriel in which she refers to the exhibition as an 'honour' of which she is 'very proud'.
8 July 2004
Edinburgh International Book Festival
This year's Edinburgh International Book Festival not only boasts a rare public appearance by Dame Muriel Spark, but also includes two events in association with the Library. One examines the state of the press, and features media commentators Roy Greenslade and John Lloyd. The other is the National Library of Scotland Donald Dewar Lecture, in which former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook speaks of foreign policy, Iraq, and the crisis of democracy. See our Events page for more.
8 July 2004