National treasures exhibition – coming soon

Treasures of the National Library of Scotland

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.

source: National Library newsletter — March 2022

Sir Walter Scott Exhibition Launch – online event

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.

For further information about registration please visit: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/alumni/events/17163/ 

Audubon’s Birds of America – new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland

Audubon’s Birds of America – a new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland

Exhibitions & Events at National Museums Scotland (nms.ac.uk)

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.

Sir Walter Scott and the Historical Novel – a new display at NLS

From the NLS February newsletter:

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.

Visit our Sir Walter Scott display

Sir Walter Scott – 250th anniversary

Sir Walter Scott display opens tomorrow at NLS

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

NLS learning resource – Struggles for Liberty

A new online learning resource from the National Library of Scotland:

We’ve launched a new online learning resource – Struggles for Liberty: African American Revolutionaries in the Atlantic World. This resource explores the lifelong fight for social justice of African American activists, some of whom campaigned in Scotland in the 19th century.

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.

Librarians Uncorked meeting – Thursday 14th November

Librarians Uncorked

The Ghosts of Librarians Past: Decolonising Library Collections and Classifying Dewey as Cancelled

Thursday 14th November 5.30 – 7.00 pm, Brewhemia Prosecco Bar, Edinburgh

Librarians Uncorked is back and in this session we will be discussing what role libraries should be playing in the decolonisation of knowledge, through diversifying collections and by becoming a more inclusive profession: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2019/10/04/how-to-decolonise-the-library/

What are the ethical implications for libraries in addressing unnerving revelations that classification titan Melvil Dewey held a collection of unsavoury views on subjects of race, women’s roles and religion? Recently this spooked the American Library Association into changing the name of one of its top leadership honours: https://slate.com/human-interest/2019/09/melvil-dewey-american-library-association-award-name-change.html

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.

Librarians Uncorked November

Here’s one I prepared earlier: a guide to promoting your collections – event report

enlightenment-graphic-banner-m-600

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.

 

ELISA AGM 2019 – reminder!

central lib

ELISA’s 2019 AGM is this Thursday, 20th June, at 3-5pm in the George Washington Browne room of Edinburgh Central Library.

There will be refreshments and networking, as well as the chance to hear about some treasures of Edinburgh Libraries.

Please remember to register via Eventbrite

ELISA AGM 2019

The ELISA AGM this year will take place on Thursday 20th June, 3-5pm, in the George Washington Browne room of the Central Library. There will be refreshments and the opportunity for networking. Also, as a bonus, we will hear about some of the treasures of Edinburgh Libraries.

Please register your intention to attend via Eventbrite: