Make Music Day 2021

Tales of One City

Make Music Day is described as the world’s largest DIY music festival and takes place in over 125 countries on 21 June. Events in all those countries are free to attend and free to participate in.

Viggianesi musicians
Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Make Music Day is about making music, so as it says, it’s all about music – talking about music, listening to music, reading about music, creating musical instruments, watching music being performed. 

However you choose to be involved on the day, visiting the website of the organisers of Make Music Day will give you a load of ideas to how you could express yourself on the day. 

Last year, the Music Department of Central Library wrote a blog with lots of handy hints to being involved in the day, hopefully those hints remain useful this year.

Female musicians wedding of Aurangzeb
Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia…

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Go outdoors to Edinburgh’s parks and greenspaces this Mental Health Awareness Week

Tales of One City

Mental Health Awareness Weekruns 10-16 May and this year’s theme is nature. During the Covid pandemic many of us have turned to nature as never before enjoying our local green spaces for exercise, for sustenance and to meet friends outside in a socially distanced way.Researchon the mental health impacts of lockdown have shown that going for walks has been one of our top coping strategies.

Edinburgh has many greenspaces with a wide variety of both managed and natural heritage environments to enjoy. Connecting with nature is central to our emotional and psychological wellbeing and we want to inspire you with some of ourfavouritegreenspaces managed by the City of Edinburgh Council to get out and open yourself up to connecting with nature.

Where can I go?

What’s yourfavouritepark in Edinburgh? Are you looking for new ideas of where to go?Search the directory of parks and greenspacesto…

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Connecting with nature through reading

Mental Health Awareness Week – 10th-16th May

Tales of One City

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
So wrote Henry David Thoreau in his book Walden; or, life in the woods published in 1854.

The theme ofMental Health Awareness Weekrunning 10-16 May 2021 is nature focusing on the importance of nature to our psychological and emotional wellbeing. Research has shown that even small contacts with nature can be effective in helping to protect our mental health.

Staff and readers from Edinburgh Libraries like many have been enjoying nature both by getting outdoors ourselves but also by reading about nature. We’ve put together some of our resources that we hope will inspire you to connect with nature especially as this beautiful Spring of 2021 unfolds its transcendent beauty. Thanks to Fiona, Zoe, Bronwen and Ruth for your contributions.

Gardening magazines


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New sounds from NLS artist-in-residence

As the Library’s artist-in-residence for the Unlocking our Sound Heritage project, Jenny Sturgeon has worked with 30 people from across Scotland to create two collaborative pieces of sound art. Listen to As Far North As Anything Grows and Pushing, Reaching, Falling, Replacing on YouTube. These pieces of sound art were formed from four creative writing and music workshops that Jenny ran between November 2020 and March 2021. They were based around archive material from one of the project partners: Professor James Holms Dickson’s ecology lectures at the University of Glasgow (1989, tape recording pictured). Workshop participants delved into and drew inspiration from archive material and field recordings, as well as creating new music and spoken material.


Feel-good gardening

Tales of One City

Edinburgh Libraries continue to bring awareness of diversity and inclusion in the public arena by teaming up with Trellis for Mental Health Awareness Week whose theme this year is nature. Trellis the place to go for know-how about therapeutic gardening and the art of using gardening to help people take care of their physical, emotional and social well being. To get to know more about Trellis visit:    

Today, we hand over to Trellis to tell us how to connect with nature.

“You probably know that feeling that comes when you’ve been in a garden for a little while: a subtle slowing of your heart rate, a moment when you notice all is quiet inside your head – the anxious, irritated thoughts from earlier, now gone, and your breathing, fallen into an even, easy rhythm. You may find you’ve lost track of time, the knot in your shoulders has…

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Adult Education Programme for Spring 2021

Tales of One City

Edinburgh’s Adult Education Programme has been running for over a 100 years, offering day, evening and weekend courses to over 10,000 students per year. The courses have traditionally run in a variety of venues including community centres, high schools, libraries, outdoor spaces, as well as venues offered by partner organisations, such as museums and historic buildings.

Since Spring 2020, the courses have also been offered online whilst it hasn’t been possible to meet in groups. Adult Education are currently running an online programme and enrolment is underway for Spring term of both outdoor and online courses. 

Courses will start from Monday 10th May 2021 and range from writing, health and wellbeing, walking, local history, art and much more…..

Browse and enrol on the upcoming Adult Education Programme courses online or for more information

You can also follow the Adult Education Programme on social media:

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Street photographers

I’m a sucker for old photos 🙂

Tales of One City

Today we open another scrapbook put together on Edinburgh Collected by the Living Memory Association, this time focusing on Street Photographers.

In the 1930s, street photography was extremely popular and there were many street photographers operating in Scottish cities. These photographers would post themselves on busy streets in towns and cities taking ‘walking pictures’ of passing pedestrians.

Here in Edinburgh, the North Bridge was a popular location, and there would be a kiosk or shop nearby where you could purchase the photographs of yourself. These photographs became a novel keepsake as most people would not have owned a camera.

Pedestrians Walking Along North Bridge 1930s
Pedestrians walking along North Bridge, 1930s

The great thing about these photographs is that they are not posed, it is possible many didn’t even realise they had been photographed until they were confronted by the photographer.

In one image a street photographer even manages to capture a Charlie Chaplin-esque figure…

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Bloggers wanted!

Bloggers Wanted! She Owns It Now Looking For Featured Contributors! | She  Owns It
image source:

Would you like to blog for ELISA?

If you work in an Edinburgh library and information service, and you’d like to contribute something for publication here on our blog, please contact me – The Webmaster. Or if you’d like to suggest your own service’s site for us to follow and re-blog , that would also be appreciated.  

We’d welcome news, events information, links to job adverts or ‘day in the life’ pieces – anything you’d like to contribute really.

I can either set you up with site access so you can post by yourself or, if that idea is a bit daunting, send me your stuff and I’ll post it for you!

As we start re-opening our services after Lockdown let’s start re-connecting and sharing our stories with library and information service colleagues across Edinburgh

I look forward to hearing from you. 

NLS – limited reopening

Book shelves

[NLS] are delighted to announce that we’ll reopen our Edinburgh reading rooms and our premises in Glasgow, for limited service, on Tuesday 27 April.

We still need to take precautions to protect you, other visitors, and our staff, so we ask that all reading room visitors carefully read this page before they arrive.

Wearing a face covering is mandatory when you are inside the Library, unless you are exempt under government guidelines.

source: Reopening | National Library of Scotland (

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.