Edinburgh reading rooms open after COVID-19 lockdown
The National Library of Scotland reopened its Edinburgh reading rooms to existing library card holders today (11 August).
Following Scottish Government guidelines, the Library has implemented health and safety measures to protect visitors and staff. Among them is the now-mandatory wearing of a face covering when inside the Library.
To allow for social distancing, the number of people using the reading rooms is restricted, and places must be booked in advance. Registered readers must also preorder items they wish to consult during their visit.
Other public areas of the Library's buildings remain closed in the meantime, including the National Library at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.
17 July 2020
Online premiere for 'Her Century' film programme
A programme of archive film focusing on women in 20th-century Scotland has its online premiere on Monday 20 July.
'Her Century' is a curated collection that shows the variation in ordinary women's roles over the past 100 years. It uses material from the National Library of Scotland's Moving Image Archive, including amateur footage, educational and promotional films, and propaganda.
Women represented in the programme include factory workers, pilots, mothers and crofters, seen in films from a century marked by rapid social change.
A partnership with Film Hub Scotland, 'Her Century' toured cinemas throughout the country in the lead-up to lockdown. During the summer it was to have been the main attraction at the Library's George IV Bridge building.
Now it will be available to view online for the next two months. Monday's live screening on YouTube (at 17.00) will include a chance to chat with the programme's curator, Dr Emily Munro.
Read more in the 'Her Century' news release.
17 July 2020
Change of Chair for National Library Board
Sir Kenneth Calman has stepped down as Chair of the National Library of Scotland Board.
Appointed by the Scottish Government in 2016, Sir Kenneth has has seen the Library through an intense growth period. National Librarian Dr John Scally described Sir Kenneth's experience and expertise as 'invaluable' to the Library.
'Importantly for us, he has been an active advocate for the culture and heritage sector.' Dr Scally said.
A public appointments process is scheduled to take place next year for a replacement Chair. In the meantime, Simon Learoyd, who has been a member of the Board since 2014, will be the Board's Interim Chair.
Read more in the Board Chair media release.
26 June 2020
Students' art exhibition goes online
Artwork by students studying in Edinburgh has gone on show in an online exhibition.
'Sea and light' is a presentation of original works by 20 Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) students, with a focus on lighthouses, coasts and the sea.
Available on the National Library of Scotland's website, the exhibition marks the Year of Scotland's Coasts and Waters.
It results from a visit to the Library, where the students were inspired by material relating to the Stevenson engineering family — the builders of most of Scotland's lighthouses. Their imaginations were further fired after hearing true stories and legends of the sea.
This exhibition is the latest in a series of annual collaborative projects between the Library and ECA. The artwork is usually displayed in the Library's George IV Bridge building, but has moved online this year due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
26 June 2020
'Home' theme for young film-makers competition
Young people aged under 19 and living in Scotland are invited to create films documenting their experiences of 'home'.
A competition launched today [27 April] gives young film-makers a chance to capture their voices and perspectives during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Entrants can use a camera, phone or tablet to produce a film that's no more than five minutes long, and their work can be in any language or genre. As long as they broadly fit with the 'home' theme, the film can be about anything.
As well as earning its creator a prize, the winning film will be added to the National Library's moving image collection.
Read more in the film competition media release.
27 April 2020
Scotland 1908-1918 OS maps go online
Ordnance Survey maps covering Scotland from 1908 to 1918 are now available on the National Library of Scotland's maps website.
Initially devised for military reasons, these half-inch to the mile maps became increasingly popular with the public, especially cyclists and motorists.
The series was produced in two forms — one showing the relief by layer colours and the other by hill shading (hachures). For some maps there were later revisions of roads and railways, which resulted in updated versions being created.
All of the sheets in the OS half-inch 1908-1918 series held by the Library have been digitised.
- OS half-inch 1908-1918 hill-shaded maps
- OS half-inch 1908-1918 layer-coloured maps
- View the maps with a graphic index of Scotland.
27 March 2020