See also: What's on
Robert Burns's manuscripts being shown in Glasgow
Two satirical manuscripts written by Robert Burns are being displayed at the National Library at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, to mark Burns Day on 25 January.
'Holy Willie's Prayer', written in 1785, and 'The Ordination: A Scotch Poem', written in 1786, are examples of Burns's finest satirical verses.
Both were directed at hypocrises in the Church of Scotland in the 18th century and contain some of the provocative and humourous commentary for which Burns is famous.
The two works will be brought together in a one-day joint display by the National Library of Scotland and the Mitchell Library. 'Holy Willie's Prayer' is from the Library's Glenriddell Manuscripts collection, and 'The Ordination' is from the Robert Burns Collection at the Mitchell Library.
Visitors can drop in to the National Library of Scotland at Kelvin Hall for the special viewing between 11.00 and 15.00.
Read more in the Burns day display media release.
18 January 2019
National Library acquires Sylvia Plath's Edinburgh-printed poem
printed by the Tragara Press.
A copy of the first separate work by Sylvia Plath to be printed is now at the National Library of Scotland.
'A Winter Ship' was produced as a leaflet in Edinburgh in 1960 by Alan Anderson, the founder and sole operator of the Tragara Press.
Anderson came across the poem through correspondence with Ted Hughes, Plath's husband. He printed around 60 copies of the leaflet and sent them to Plath, who enclosed many of them with her Christmas cards that year.
The Tragara Press operated from 1954 to 2012, with Anderson printing almost 300 works on his own printing press. As well as 20th-century poets, his publications included literature by authors from the 1890s.
The Library has added 'A Winter Ship' to its almost-complete Tragara Press collection.
Read more in the related media release.
17 December 2018
First edition of 'Encyclopaedia Britannica' available to all
An online copy of the first edition of 'Encyclopaedia Britannica' is published today (10 December) by the National Library of Scotland.
It was exactly 250 years ago that the first pages of 'Britannica' were published in Edinburgh.
With a distinctly Scottish viewpoint, the first edition emphasised two themes — modern science and Scottish identity.
Explicit engravings relating to midwifery scandalised subscribers, and were torn out of every copy on the orders of the Crown. Fortunately the Library has a complete copy in its collections, which is available free to view online thanks to a fundraising campaign for its digitisation.
'Britannica' was conceived by printer Colin Macfarquhar, engraver Andrew Bell, and William Smellie, who edited the first edition. Originally issued in 100 weekly parts, it took three years to produce and consisted of three volumes when it was completed in 1771.
Subsequent editions expanded during the 19th century, often featuring content written by experts in their field. By the 20th century 'Encyclopaedia Britannica' was a household name throughout the English-speaking world.
The Library's 'Britannica' appeal aims to fund the digitisation and publication of more editions.
10 December 2018
What Scotland means to young film-makers
with the judges.
winners) with the judges.
Young people from Dundee and Glasgow are the winners of a one-minute film competition entitled 'What Scotland means to me'.
As part of the Year of Young People, the competition was organised by the National Library of Scotland in conjunction with the Scottish Youth Film Festival.
The winning films are:
- 'From Dancing Dundee', made by Sen and Lucy ('12 and under' category)
- 'St Thomas Aquinas Acrostic Account' by pupils from a school in the West End of Glasgow ('13 and over' category).
Both films, along with others that were shortlisted, will be added to the National Library's Moving Image Archive, for future generations to enjoy.
Read more in the the related media release.
30 November 2018
Gutenberg Bible on show for one day only
The Gutenberg Bible will be on display at the National Library of Scotland for one day only, on Thursday 22 November.
One of the world's most treasured books, it was produced in Germany in the 1450s by Johannes Gutenberg.
This was the first major book to be printed in Europe using moveable type. It caused a sensation when it first appeared at the Franklin Bookfair in 1455, and has gained in significance since then.
A selection of other books printed before 1501 — known as 'incunables' — will also be on show alongside the Library's copy of the Gutenberg Bible.
The free display runs from 10.00-16.00 in the Library's George IV Bridge building.
20 November 2018
Exhibition explores Scotland after the Armistice
a demobilised solidier.
Scottish life after the First World War is the subject of a major exhibition at the National Library of Scotland.
'A Better World?' explores many aspects of what happened in Scotland after the Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918.
As well as demobilisation and commemoration, the exhibition looks at the struggle for better living and working conditions. It also covers the changing political landscape and the emerging Scottish cultural and political identity during the 1920s.
Exhibits include rare or unique items held in the Library's collections. Among them are letters, photographs and personal mementoes of those directly impacted by four years of conflict in Europe.
Visitors are invited to reflect on on what life would have been like for those who survived the Great War.
16 November 2018
Partnership agreement with Glasgow University
A programme of greater collaboration has been agreed between the National Library of Scotland and the University of Glasgow.
The Library has more research collaborations with the University than with any other Scottish higher education institution.
This new agreement ensures that both organisations continue to deliver innovative partnerships in research, teaching, access to collections, knowledge exchange, public engagement and outreach.
Representatives of both research bodies signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Library's premises at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.
Read more in the Glasgow University partnership media release.
15 November 2018
Library Search — a new way into the collections
From 29 October, an online service is available that provides wider searching across the National Library of Scotland's collections.
'Library Search' presents, for the first time, a single search interface for finding details of printed, manuscript and archival items, and for accessing digitised collections. Included in the search are high-quality electronic resources from a range of publishers.
Registered Library members can also log in to:
- Access some of the Library's eResources
- View details of items they've requested in advance of a visit to the reading rooms
- Receive notifications when requested items are ready for consulting.
'Library Search' replaces the 20-year-old main catalogue. Making this change puts the National Library of Scotland in good company. Thousands of academic and national libraries round the world already use a similar service.
29 October 2018
Frederick Douglass and the fight for freedom
The compelling story of the USA's most famous freedom-fighter is told in the National Library of Scotland's new display.
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was born into chattel slavery in Maryland, USA. When he was aged just 20 he escaped, and began his life-long anti-slavery campaign.
After publishing his first autobiography in 1845, in which he 'named and shamed' his white slave owners, Douglass fled to Britain. He was one of many anti-slavery campaigners to live and work in Scotland.
'Strike for Freedom' displays material from the Library's collections alongside loaned items from the Walter O and Linda Evans Collection. Together they present a picture of Douglass's commitment to social justice. This commitment was shared by his family: two of his sons had distinguished military careers during the American Civil War.
Walter and Linda Evans have collected over 100,000 items relating to African American authors and artists, including letters, books and manuscripts. Many of the exhibits from their collection are on show for the first time.
The display runs until 19 February. Read more in the Frederick Douglass display media release.
28 September 2018