Earliest maps of Scotland's inhabited regions go online
Stirlingshire 25 inch sheet
Our largest map digitisation project to date has produced over 13,000 map images for the National Library of Scotland's website.
The Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile maps are the earliest and most detailed mapping of all Scotland's inhabited regions. Covering the period 1855-1882, they give good details of features such as buildings, streets, farmland and rivers. The series includes all Scottish towns, villages and cultivated rural areas.
These attractive maps are particularly useful for anyone studying local history. A zoomable interface to the maps allows searching by counties, parishes and place names. Supporting the maps are guides to abbreviations, colour and symbols, and pages of background information.
For a small fee, we can supply high-quality images and striking colour printouts of the maps.
29 June 2009
Exhibition tells stories of Scottish emigration
Full handbook cover image
Personal stories are at the heart of the Scottish emigration exhibition which has opened at the National Library of Scotland.
In 'The Original Export', we draw on journals and letters written by Scots who left their homeland in search of a better life. Focusing on six particular stories, we show what often triggered the decision to uproot, and how emigrants settled in their new home.
The exhibition takes full advantage of interactive displays, including audio presentations that quote from emigrants' letters. There are facsimiles of letters, along with photographs, maps and printed documents.
It also explores some myths about Scottish emigration over the past 300 years. It shows, for example, that emigrants were not just those fleeing the Highland Clearances, and the reason for going was not always poverty.
Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand were popular destinations for those wanting to leave Scotland. Our extensive collection of emigrants' correspondence reveals how they adapted to their surroundings - and how they kept their Scottish identity.
'The Original Export' is free and open daily until 11 October.
29 June 2009
International recognition for digital storage project
The National Library of Scotland's work on a project to set up a mass digital storage system has received international recognition.
NLS was one of five finalists in the 'media, arts and entertainment' category of the Computerworld Honors Program awards. For 20 years the awards have celebrated people and organisations using information technology to benefit society.
Hitachi Data Systems nominated NLS for our project to set up a trusted digital repository. We are developing the repository to hold our growing digital collections and make them available for future generations. Hitachi Data Systems designed and installed the storage system.
At the awards ceremony on 1 June in Washington DC, USA, we were among 50 finalists in 10 categories recognised for innovative use of information technology. Strict criteria for selection assessed in particular:
- Originality of conception
- Breadth of vision
- Significance to society.
Three other UK organisations were represented at the ceremony - the V&A Gallery, Thames Water, and HM Revenues and Customs. Each finalist received a Lucite plaque.
4 June 2009
Dumfries publisher wins poetry pamphlet award
A volume of poetry by Hugh McMillan has won the 2009 Callum Macdonald Memorial Award for pamphlet poetry publishing in Scotland.
'Postcards from the Hedge' is published in Dumfries by Roncadora Press. Publisher Hugh Bryden received his prize of £750 and the Callum Macdonald Memorial Quaich in a ceremony at the National Library of Scotland.
The runner-up publications in this year's competition are:
- 'Ring O'Sangs' by Mary Johnston, published in Bonnyrigg by Poetry Monthly
- 'Sky Blue Notebook from the Pyrenees' by Jayne Wilding, published in Dunbar by Calder Wood Press.
Presenting the awards were National Librarian Martyn Wade and Lady Marks on behalf of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, which supports the award. Based on the success of the NLS competition, it is now also supporting a UK-wide version launched by the British Library.
4 June 2009