Flood causes minimal damage to national collections
A small number of items have been slightly damaged by a flood in the main National Library of Scotland building.
The flooding incident happened around 18.30 on Thursday 26 February. A sprinkler pipe failure started the flood on the 12th floor which spread to the floors below. Staff contained the water flow in a short space of time, and Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade quickly brought the flood under control.
The building has been closed to the public until Monday 2 March, with the John Murray Archive exhibition closed until further notice.
27 February 2009
Burns's 'Sheriff-Muir' manuscript to return to Scotland
The National Library of Scotland has bought at auction the only known manuscript of a Robert Burns poem.
Written in 1790, 'The Battle of Sherra-moor', or 'On the Battle of Sheriff-Muir', gives two viewpoints of a 1715 Jacobite conflict. The manuscript dates from after the poem's initial publication in 1790 and shows changes made for the 1800 edition of 'Works of Robert Burns'.
After years in private hands in Switzerland and the USA, the document sold for $45,000. Cate Newton, NLS Director of Collections and Research, commented: 'We believe the price is fair for a manuscript of a Burns poem of this significance and quality, and it is very appropriate that it returns to Scotland in this Homecoming year.'
Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, will see the original manuscript on 24 February at a Burns symposium in Washington's Library of Congress. 'I'm delighted that this unique piece of Burns history will be coming home to Scotland,' he said.
Read more in our Burns manuscript press release.
23 February 2009
Lady Caroline Lamb joins John Murray Archive Exhibition
Lady Caroline Lamb is the latest character to join the John Murray Archive Exhibition. The British aristocrat and novelist is perhaps best known for her passionate affair with the poet Lord Byron. She famously called Byron 'mad, bad and dangerous to know'.
The exhibition includes letters from Lady Caroline to Lord Byron and John Murray. There is also a letter from Byron to Lamb which notes that 'an incensed woman is a dangerous enemy'. Visitors can see Lamb's commonplace book - the 19th century equivalent of a scrap-book - and view the Lord Byron display.
In the John Murray Archive, the National Library of Scotland has the largest collection of Byron correspondence in the world. Over the next year or so, we will be digitising these letters and making them available online. For the latest information on these, and other exciting developments, send an email titled 'subscribe' to firstname.lastname@example.org.
16 February 2009
Afternoon tea with Alexander McCall Smith
Alexander McCall Smith launches a new No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novel at afternoon tea on Saturday 7 March.
At 3.30pm in our George IV Bridge Building, the popular Scottish author will introduce 'Tea Time for the Traditionally Built'. In her latest outing, detective Mma Ramotswe tries to foster understanding between the sexes and find a football team traitor.
Tickets for the event are priced £5 and available by phoning 0131 623 4675 or emailing email@example.com. Past events with Alexander McCall Smith have booked up very quickly, so we suggest you buy your tickets early.
- Update - 26 February: Tickets sold out!
4 February 2009