Display commemorates 200 years of 'The Scotsman'
Edinburgh-based newspaper's home
from the 1860s to 1905.
A new display at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh celebrates the 200th anniversary of 'The Scotsman' newspaper.
One of the highlights on show is the newspaper's first issue, which went on sale in Edinburgh on 25 January 1817.
Produced jointly by the Library and 'The Scotsman', the display tells of landmark developments in the newspaper's history and how it kept Scots informed of major events down the centuries.
Lawyer William Ritchie and customs official Charles Maclaren launched 'The Scotsman' as a liberal weekly newspaper, promising to publish news and opinions 'without fear or favour'. Although only 300 copies of that first issue were sold, the paper grew over the years to become recognised as one of the great newspapers of the world.
'The Scotsman' display uses material from the Library's own collection and items on loan from the newspaper’s archive. It marks the culmination of a year of celebration of the paper's anniversary.
Read more in 'The Scotsman' display media release.
18 January 2018
Punks, artists and dancers invited to 're-sit' exams
The National Library of Scotland is offering six bursaries to support creative reinterpretations of old school examination papers.
Up to £1,000 is available for 21st-century artists to use school exam papers from the 1930s to 1960s as a source of inspiration.
The Library is looking for dance, musical and artistic interpretations of the exams as a way of highlighting the potential for re-using its collections:
- Dance — 2 opportunities to create a dance show based on a 1932 geometry exam
- Visual arts — 2 opportunities to create a painting, collage or similar based on an exam paper from 1937 or 1938
- Musical performance — 2 opportunities for a punk, indie or choral / choir interpretation of a 1962 Maths exam.
Tuesday 23 January is the closing date for applications. For more information, read the exam papers bursaries media release.
16 January 2018
New partnership to boost Scottish business
and Emily Wilson
Scottish businesses are set to benefit from a new partnership agreed between the National Library of Scotland and Scottish Enterprise.
The two organisations are working together to ensure that Scottish firms can access high quality business information.
Their aim is to help businesses identify new opportunities to help them grow which, in turn, will boost the Scottish economy.
The partnership will bring together the extensive business resources held within Scotland's largest library with the research support that Scottish Enterprise provides for its network of Scottish companies.
For more information, read the Scottish Enterprise partnership media release.
19 December 2017
Celebrating the international style of Muriel Spark
© Jerry Bauer.
Internationally acclaimed writer Dame Muriel Spark is to be celebrated in the biggest exhibition ever staged on her life and work.
'The International Style of Muriel Spark' takes visitors on a journey across three continents to the places Spark lived.
It charts the Edinburgh-born writer's early struggles before publication of 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' propelled her to global success.
And one of the highlights of the exhibtion is the manuscript of the 'Brodie' novel, on loan from the University of Tulsa.
Many exhibits have never been seen previously by the public, and most of the items are from Spark's extraordinary archive, held at the National Library of Scotland.
Opening at the National Library on 8 December, the exhibition is one of the main events in a year-long celebration to mark the centenary of her birth, which falls in February.
Find out more in the Spark exhibition media release.
7 December 2017
Campbeltown cinema papers given to National Library
Important papers that tell of the early days of cinema in Scotland have been donated to the National Library of Scotland.
They come from Campbeltown Picture House which opened in 1913 and is the oldest in Scotland that has been used continuously as a cinema. It is about to re-open after a £3.5 million refurbishment.
The charity that runs the cinema has decided to donate its historic paper records to the National Library's Moving Image Archive, based at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow. They will add to the Library's rich bank of knowledge about the development of cinema in Scotland.
Find out more in the Campbeltown archive media release.
14 November 2017
Events programme to mark Muriel Spark centenary
in the 1980s.
A year-long celebration of the life and work of Dame Muriel Spark opens today (26 October).
'Muriel Spark 100' is being organised jointly by the National Library and Creative Scotland to pay tribute to one of Scotland's most important novelists.
The first details of a nationwide programme of events to mark the centenary of Spark's birth have been released on the Muriel Spark 100 website. Already planned are:
- The publication of new editions of all 22 of Spark's novels
- A major exhibition based on her archive, which is held at the Library
- An international academic conference exploring different aspects of her writing
- A walking tour of the places that inspired her in Edinburgh
- A series of BBC radio programmes in which leading Scottish writers reflect on her achievements.
National Librarian Dr John Scally said: 'The opportunity to celebrate the life and work of Dame Muriel Spark is as exciting a prospect as opening one of her books for the very first time. The activities planned over the coming year promise to be lively, varied and engaging.'
Creative Scotland is also offering grants of up to £1,500 to help artists and groups develop new work inspired by Spark's writing as part of the centenary year.
Find out more in the Muriel Spark 100 media release.
26 October 2017
Highlighting the early years of the Protestant Reformation
Key documents from 500 years ago that tell of the start of the Protestant Reformation have gone on show.
A display at the National Library of Scotland includes an extremely rare copy of a Latin text that helped change the course of history.
This item is the first ever printing of 95 theses produced by the monk Martin Luther in 1517. Luther's theses challenged the Catholic Church and were intended to spark academic debate.
However, his criticisms were soon taken up by followers who spread the message using the relatively new invention of the printing press. And after they were translated into German, Luther's 95 theses quickly gained widespread popularity.
Entitled 'The Reformation: What was it all about?', the display also features a rare copy of a papal bull of 1521. Issued by Pope Leo X, it severed Luther's ties with the Catholic Church when he was excommunicated.
The free display in Edinburgh runs until 14 January.
Read more in the Reformation display media release.
19 October 2017
Appeal for historic Mòd programme
The National Library of Scotland has launched an appeal to find the programme from the first National Mòd, held in 1892.
A similar appeal last year brought the programmes for the Mòds held in 1893 and 1894 into the Library's growing collection of Gaelic material. These were kindly gifted by the family of a former President of An Comunn Gaidhealach, Donald Thomson.
Preparations are being made for the opening of this year's Mòd in Lochaber on Friday (13 October). Once again the Library is asking the Gaelic community to help fill gaps in the national collection by giving it Gaelic pamphlets and leaflets from home which are no longer needed.
The Library is taking part in this year's Mòd for the third year running. It will have an information stand and will be running events as part of a continuing commitment to the Gaelic language.
Read more in the Mòd programme appeal media release.
11 October 2017
'Secret' text tells of feud between explorers
A famous feud between two great Victorian explorers is laid bare in a book that was meant to remain secret.
The National Library of Scotland has acquired what is thought to be one of only five copies still in existence of a family edition of the book, which gives details of the feud between John Hanning Speke and Sir Richard Burton.
In 1858, Speke discovered the source of the Nile — a claim Burton strongly challenged.
Speke wrote about this in 1864 in his book 'What Led to the Discovery of the Source of the Nile'. In it he originally referred to his feud with Burton, but was persuaded to leave this out of the final publication.
A special edition of 12 copies containing his thoughts on the dispute with Burton was printed, although only for distribution within Speke's family. It is one of these that has now been added to the National Library's collection.
Dr Graham Hogg, a Rare Books Curator at the Library, said this is thought to be the only copy held by any public institution and freely available for consultation by the public.
Read more in our Speke book media release.
6 September 2017