A major exhibition ‘Pen Names’ – which explores why some authors prefer to use an alias – has opened at NLS.
Using material from their extensive literary archives and printed collections, the exhibition covers a range of writers using pseudonyms who were working in the UK from the 1800s to the present day. Writers include George Eliot, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Josephine Tey, Frank Quitely, Dreda Say Mitchell and Ambrose Parry.
On show will be rare first editions, pulp fiction titles, popular novels and unique collection items. The exhibition also includes a family-friendly interactive activity as well as reading areas for visitors to sit and relax with a book written by (or about) featured authors.
Pen Names will run at NLS, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh until 29 April 2023. Entry is free.
A new permanent exhibition, Treasures of the National Library of Scotland, opens on Friday 25 March.
The Treasures exhibition reveals the stories of well-known and surprising items from the national collections, and is set to be a major attraction in Edinburgh.
Visitors will get a glimpse of our vast collections – from the groundbreaking Gutenberg Bible and the handwritten work of Robert Burns to multimedia displays showing early innovations in sound and film. This exhibition provides unique insights into Scotland’s story, and its place in the world.
Sir Walter Scott Exhibition Launch – ‘From the Baskets of Travelling Pedlars’ to Abbotsford: Scott’s Lifelong Love of Popular Print
Tuesday 1 March, 6pm – 7.15pm, Online
Co-hosted by the Walter Scott Research Centre at the University of Aberdeen and the Abbotsford Trust.
Produced by Professor Alison Lumsden, Regius Chair of English Literature at the University of Aberdeen, Co-director of the Walter Scott Research Centre & Honorary Librarian at Abbotsford, and Kirsty Archer-Thomson, Collections & Interpretation Manager at Abbotsford. They also teach a short course on Sir Walter Scott, available as a MOOC via FutureLearn
Sir Walter Scott had a lifelong interest in collecting chapbooks which were cheap, popular print items sold door-to-door or purchased from market stalls. A recent cataloguing project has revealed that his Library at Abbotsford contains thousands of these items. Their content ranges from political pamphlets to ghost stories and advice on how to find a good partner. This notable collection of chapbooks is significant in that they were cheaply printed and often did not survive very long.
This event will also be recorded and shared afterwards.
A new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland will examine the artistry and legacy of one of the world’s rarest, most coveted and largest books.
Audubon’s Birds of America (12 February – 8 May 2022) will showcase 46 unbound prints from National Museums Scotland’s library collection, most of which have never been on display before, as well as a rare bound volume of the book, on loan from the Mitchell Library. The exhibition will also feature rare books, letters, ephemera and taxidermy specimens showing the accurate life-size rendering of Audubon’s paintings.
This exhibition is a once in a generation opportunity to see so much of Audubon’s work in one place.
Visitors to the exhibition can also discover Edinburgh’s integral role in the development of the book and explore the publication’s technical achievement and artistic legacy.
Our Sir Walter Scott and the Historical Novel display is open at George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. It celebrates Scott’s literary achievements and the development of the historical novel, as well as his contribution to Scotland’s national identity. Items on display include correspondence, engravings and original manuscripts, including ‘The Heart of Mid-Lothian’, considered by some to be one of Scott’s finest novels.
Sir Walter Scott is one of Scotland’s most important authors and last year marked the 250th anniversary of his birth. We hold significant collections of works relating to Scott, including first editions of his novels and the largest collection of Scott’s correspondence to be found anywhere in the world. Our successful Bring the Bards Home appeal recently enabled us to acquire the manuscript of ‘Rob Roy’, which we look forward to receiving later this year.
A new display, Sir Walter Scott and the Historical Novel, opens at the National Library of Scotland tomorrow (Friday 12th November). This display celebrates Scott’s literary achievements and development of the historical novel, together with his contribution to Scotland’s national identity. Items on display include correspondence, engravings and original manuscripts, including ‘The Heart of Mid-Lothian’, considered by some to be one of Scott’s finest novels.
Sir Walter Scott is one of Scotland’s most important authors and this year marks the 250th anniversary of his birth. NLS holds significant collections of works relating to Scott, including first editions of his novels and the largest collection of Scott’s correspondence to be found anywhere in the world. NLS hope the Bring the Bards Home appeal will help to further grow their collection of Scott material, to include the manuscript of ‘Rob Roy’.
You can find out about other anniversary celebrations taking place during 2021-22 at: Sir Walter Scott 250
Struggles for Liberty features writings authored by prominent African American reformers, freedom fighters and campaigners including Frederick Douglass, Maria W. Stewart, Nathaniel Turner, Sojourner Truth, David Walker and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Their histories are told through autobiographies, letters, photographs and other original documents held at the National Library, in the Walter O. Evans Collection (now at Yale) and in other US library and archive collections.
The resource is arranged by theme including the Story of the Slave, the History of Black Abolition, and African American activists in Scotland. It also includes interactive maps and downloadable learning activities for teachers, including activities mapped to the Curriculum for Excellence.
Struggles for Liberty was created in collaboration with collector Dr Walter O. Evans and partners in the US and the UK.
Is it the role of librarians to exorcise our haunting legacy issues or should we accept it would take something supernatural to transform established collecting habits?
Unlike some of our librarian forefathers, we welcome all interested parties! Librarians Uncorked is a safe space where opinions can be aired, library issues worked through and professional connections made.
Yesterday I attended CILIPS East Branch‘s afternoon event exploring some different ways to promote our library collections. It took place at the NLS, and over a few hours we were presented with three very different methods of “exhibiting” materials.
Gordon Yeoman, Exhibitions Conservator, National Library of Scotland Gordon gave us a run down of what goes into putting on a large exhibition such as Northern Lights, the Scottish Enlightenment (currently running at NLS). His team of six people also work with curators and other NLS staff to present smaller exhibitions in various places around the library. This talk was followed by half an hour in which we were actually able to go and view the exhibit. It looks wonderful.
Calum McGhie, Customer Service Manager, Blackwell’s Bookshop, Edinburgh
I found this section particularly interesting. Though it was less from an exhibition viewpoint and more that it gave me ideas of how we might better communicate with our users around the library using ‘shelf talkers’, as they do in bookshops.
Graeme Hawley, Head of General Collections, National Library of Scotland
The ever entertaining Mr Hawley spoke engagingly about the exhibition he wasn’t able to make into an exhibition (because the Enlightenment exhibit was using the space). Instead he built a website of long-read essays and films to tell the story of the decade which (he argues) is responsible for making the world we live in today. You can visit his website here: Back to the future:1979-1989.
This was a very enjoyable afternoon and I was really impressed by the unusual (perhaps even quirky!) takes on the idea of ‘exhibitions’. Thanks CILIPS East.