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
Display highlights Allan Ramsay's Scots Enlightenment role
A display celebrating Scottish writer Allan Ramsay (1684-1758) opens today at the National Library of Scotland.
Allan Ramsay: Writing the Scots Enlightenment illustrates Ramsay’s contributions to the Scottish Enlightenment.
Ramsay played a vital role in keeping the Scots language alive at a time when 'Scotticisms' were viewed by some as an embarrassment. A literary and cultural innovator, he established the first circulating library in Britain and argued the case for a theatre in Edinburgh. He also helped support his son, the artist Allan Ramsay (1713-1784).
A selection of written and printed works from the Library collections showcase Ramsay's talent for poetry and drama. Letters and personal items reflect his passions and influences.
The display includes:
- A colour plan of Ramsay's house on Edinburgh's Castlehill
- 'Fair copy' manuscript of 'The Gentle Shepherd' — Ramsay's best-known work
- Letters written by Ramsay to aid his son's travels to Italy to develop his artistic talent.
'Allan Ramsay: Writing the Scots Enlightenment' is open from Tuesday 18 February to Saturday 16 May.
18 February 2020
Call for artistic responses to the Gaelic 1980s
Creative approaches to Gaelic language and culture during the 1980s are being sought by the National Library of Scotland.
Five funded opportunities are available to bring 'the Gaelic 1980s' to life using specified material from the Library's collections.
In return for a grant of up to £1,250 provided by Creative Scotland, each successful applicant will produce a piece of work or a recording documenting their creative response. The five completed works will be:
- A song
- A piece of visual art, or art installation
- A craftwork referencing sheep ear tagging shapes
- Creative writing based on a film about Iona
- A school playground game.
Monday 24 February is the deadline for applications.
Gairm airson freagairtean ealaineach a thaobh Gàidhlig sna
Tha Leabharlann Nàiseanta na h-Alba a' sìreadh seallaidhean cruthachail mun Ghàidhlig agus a cultar anns na 1980an.
Tha còig cothroman ann gus '1980an' na Gàidhlig a thoirt beò a' cleachadh stuthan sònraichte bho chruinneachaidhean an Leabharlainn.
Bheir Alba Chruthachail tabhartas seachad de suas ri £1,250 agus airson seo, bidh aig gach tagraiche soirbheachail ri pìos obrach no clàradh a dhèanamh leis an fhreagairt chruthachail aca.
Is iad na còig pìosan ealain a thèid a dhèanamh:
- Pìos de dh'òbair dhealain, no stàladh ealain
- Pìos de dh'obair ceàird ceantailte ri na cumaidhean aig comharraidhean-cluaise nan caorach
- Sgrìobhadh cruthachail stèidhichte air film mu Eilean Ì
- Geama raon-cluich sgoile.
Is e Diluain 24 Gearran.
24 January 2020
A 'Dandy' addition to the national collections
A crucial gap in the National Library of Scotland's collections has been filled by the first-ever copy of 'The Dandy'.
Published on 4 December 1937, the first edition of 'The Dandy Comic' was an instant success, selling over 480,000 copies.
Characters included Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat, and Keyhole Kate. One innovation it introduced was the concept of dialogue contained in speech bubbles, rather than as text below the illustrations.
Only around 20 copies of the first edition are known to be in existence.
Significant gaps of 'The Dandy' remain in the national collections, particularly from 1937 up to the 1970s.
The Library is appealing to anyone who may have pre-1970 editions of comic — or of its sister publication, 'Beano — to consider adding them to the collections.
Read more in the 'Dandy' news release.
20 January 2020
Captivating stories to come to life in 2020
Glen Dochart, 1909.
Stories of challenge and change are a major theme in the National Library of Scotland's programme of forthcoming exhibitions.
A highlight of the programme for 2020 announced by the Library today (30 December) is 'Petticoats' and Pinnacles'. Opening in October 2020, this exhibition looks at the Scots women who overcame social convention to pursue their dreams of travel and exploration.
'Her Century: Scottish Women on Film', running from June-August, is a curated film of women's experiences of major social changes from the Edwardian era to the Thatcher years.
In focus in late 2020 is Henrietta Liston's account of being in of the Ottoman Empire during her husband's diplomatic mission at the time of the Napoleonic Wars.
Also coming up are:
- The poetry, drama and music of Allan Ramsay
- The archive of the Stevenson family of engineering and lighthouse fame
- The Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition.
As well as detailing the exhibitions, the Library has revealed that a new exhibition gallery will open in 2020, featuring items from the Middle Ages to the present day. Among the exhibits will be relics of the printed word, extremely rare moving image and sound recordings, and material from personal archives.
Read more in the exhibitions programme news release.
30 December 2019
Views sought on draft National Library strategy
A public consultation has begun to gather comments on the draft National Library of Scotland strategy for 2020-2025.
The National Library sets out its aims in a consultation document which outlines how the organisation sees itself looking in 2025.
As well as strategic priorities, the document reveals the Library's plans to reach new audiences and re-shape services.
The Library's preference is to receive feedback via the online form on Citizen Space, but it will also accept comments by email or post, or in person at drop-in sessions in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Consultation ends on 27 January.
2 December 2019
Special display of 500-year-old book in Glasgow
A liturgical book used in Glasgow 500 years ago is returning to the city for St Andrew's Day.
In a special one-day display, a copy of the Aberdeen Breviary will be on show at the National Library of Scotland at Kelvin Hall.
This book of daily devotions was used by local clergy at St Mungo's Cathedral in Glasgow in the early 1500s.
Printed in 1509 by Walter Chepman, the Aberdeen Breviary is the first substantial work printed in Scotland, and how it was put together reveals a lot about how Scottish printing developed.
It was the reason that King James IV granted a licence for the first printing house in 1507 to the Edinburgh-based Chepman and Myllar.
The Aberdeen Breviary was also the first printed book to collect the lives of St Andrew and other Scottish saints.
Bound at the end of the first volume of the breviary is an extra 16-page booklet — the only known copy of 'Compassio Beate Marie'.
To see these items of special significance, drop in to the Library's premises at Kelvin Hall between 10.00 and 16.00 on Saturday 30 November.
You can also view the Aberdeen Breviary and 'Compassio' volume online.
Read more in the Aberdeen Breviary display media release.
21 November 2019
Saving vulnerable photographs — our Annual Appeal
cleaned by a conservator.
This year's Annual Appeal aims to raise the funds to conserve some of the National Library's most at-risk photography collections.
There are almost 400,000 photographs across all parts of the National Library of Scotland's collections, many of which are fragile and at risk. Photographs in formats such as calotypes, salt prints and newspaper are in particular need of immediate attention.
The appeal aims to raise the funds needed to keep these collections safe for the longer term. Support for the appeal will enable the Library's expert conservators to treat and safeguard irreplaceable photographs for years to come.
Last year's appeal successfully raised £30,000, which the Library used to create a digital version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, opening it up to all in its 250th year.
To support the appeal and to find out more, visit the photography conservation appeal page, or pick up a leaflet in the Library.
11 November 2019
MacKinnon Collection photographs to go on display
from the MacKinnon Collection.
Photographs from the MacKinnon Collection are going on show at the National Library and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
The MacKinnon Collection comprises more than 14,000 photographs of Scotland spanning the 1840s to the mid-20th century. It was jointly acquired by the Library and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in May 2018 with help from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Scottish Government and Art Fund.
Inspired by VisitScotland's Year of Coasts and Waters 2020, the Library's display is called 'At the Water's Edge'. It features photographs of striking Scottish landscapes, pictures of coastal communities, and scenes from industries such as shipbuilding.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery's exhibition, 'Scotland's Photograph Album' offers a broader look back at varied aspects of Scottish life over a century. It showcases a range of images from the pioneering days of photography.
Both exhibitions are free, and open on Saturday 16 November. The Library's display runs until Saturday 15 February 2020 and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery exhibition runs until Sunday 16 February 2020.
Read more in the MacKinnon photographs displayed media release.
7 November 2019
Record collector donates thousands of discs to the Library
with Mr Dean-Myatt and discs
from his collection.
A music enthusiast has donated more than 10,000 sound recordings to the National Library of Scotland.
7,500 shellac discs represents the final part of a collection of sound items donated by William Dean-Myatt.
Mr Dean-Myatt amassed the collection over a 70 year period and has already given 3000 recordings to the Library. Most of the 78s in the Library's collections formerly belonged to Mr Dean-Myatt.
As well as shellac discs, the collection includes vinyl records, cassettes and a small number of wax cylinders. Many rare and unique items are also included.
A lifetime compiling a rich collection
Mr Dean Myatt's interest in 78s of Scottish music stemmed from the music played by his relatives in Scotland. From his music research, he compiled 'The Scottish Vernacular Discography'.
Genres featured in the collection include Gaelic songs, Scottish music hall recordings and fiddle and bagpipe music.
Jimmy Shand, Harry Lauder and Heloise Russell-Ferguson are some of the artists represented.
Many of the collection items have already been catalogued and details can be accessed via Library Search. Digitisation of the recordings has also begun, with a view to making them available online.
Read more in the Shellac discs donation media release.
30 September 2019
Data Foundry launched
As part of its Digital Scholarship service, the National Library of Scotland has launched a website for its data collections.
The new Data Foundry site presents Library collections as data in a machine-readable format, widening the scope for digital research and analysis.
Techniques like content mining and image analysis can now be carried out using the Library's collections.
It features more than 70GB of data, including digitised text and images, metadata collections, map data and organisational data.
Digitised Library collections available as data through the site include:
- Encyclopaedia Britannica
- A Medical History of British India
- Scottish school exam papers
- The Spiritualist
- Gazetteers of Scotland
Datasets from more Library material like British military lists, audiovisual collections and web archives are also planned to be published as the site is regularly updated.
2 September 2019