Black Lives Matter protest placards – a new exhibition on Capital Collections

Tales of One City

In early June of this year, Edinburgh, along with other towns, villages and cities across the world, held large protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Museums & Galleries Edinburgh acquired a large donation of placards, banners and signs from the protest, to add to our permanent museum collection and many of these are now available to see in a new exhibition on Capital Collections.

“I don’t want to get political, your ignorance kills real people” – one of the placards collected from the Black Lives Matter protest on 7 June 2020.

The protests held were in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a US police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 25 May 2020. His death was not the only example of police brutality witnessed by the public, but was the catalyst for a collective reckoning in our understanding of systemic racism.

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A new library for Ratho

Tales of One City

Today we have a message from the staff at Ratho Library about the library, old and new:

“We opened our doors to the public on 22March 1999 and we closed our doors to Coronavirus just 3 days short of our 21stbirthday. Sadly we won’t be reopening in our current building. We will be opening in the future in our new building and we will keep you up to date with the news as soon as we have it. In the meantime, we want to thank each and everyone of you who have used Ratho Library over the years for allowing us to be part of your village, we have watched it thrive and grow, and we have been delighted to welcome new readers alongside those of you who have been with us from the very start.

We pride ourselves on Ratho Library and how we are involved in your community…

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Edinburgh’s City Read

for Book Week Scotland

doug johnstone

This is lovely – for Book Week Scotland, Edinburgh Libraries have chosen A Dark Matter as their Edinburgh’s City Read ebook title. Download it here if you’re a library member. Cheers!

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What is Conservation?

Open Book

Today, NRS Head of Conservation Linda Ramsay explains what her team’s role is and looks back at the history of paper conservation in Scotland...

Public interest in objects and their conservation and preservation has never been stronger. ”Before and afters“ are endlessly fascinating, connecting us to our past and history, and next to cookery and ballroom dancing to make the most popular television programmes. There is however a lot more going on, just like the iceberg, and from the outside it looks a lot easier than it actually is!

As conservators, we are creative, innovative problems solvers, closely linked to our collections. We can work well in teams but also often work alone interfacing with the objects we care for. Not in dusty, dingy attics, but in a well-equipped studio with lots of good natural Scottish North light.

One of the most pressing problems facing Thomas Thomson, the first…

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The UK’s most borrowed ebook author comes to Edinburgh Libraries!

Author event for Book Week Scotland

Tales of One City

Gillian Galbraith

We were delighted to see the recent news that Edinburgh-based author Gillian Galbraith was the most loaned ebook author in the UK during the recent lockdown period. This was a remarkable achievement as Gillian beat the likes of Lee Child and Michelle Obama to the top spot.

At 7.30pm on Thursday 19 November we will be welcoming Gillian to talk about her writing, libraries and this fantastic achievement in an online event hosted on Zoom.

An evening with Gillian Galbraith
Gillian, who is author of the Alice Rice series, topped the UK library ebook lending charts with her novel, Blood in the Water. This gripping novel is the first instalment of the Alice Rice mystery series, in which smart and capable detective Alice races against time and an implacable killer to solve a series of grisly murders amongst the professional elite of Edinburgh’s well-to-do New Town.

Join Gillian…

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Celebrating Book Week Scotland: Climate change and the survival of being

Tales of One City

We are delighted to announce an evening with Alastair McIntosh, one of Scotland’s leading writers and an honorary professor of the University of Glasgow, on Wednesday 18 November at 7.30pm.

Alastair McIntosh

Alastair McIntosh’s new book Riders on the Storm (Birlinn 2020) has received critical acclaim as a rigorous but engaging outline of the present science of climate change. But the deeper reason why he wrote it is enfolded in the subtitle: “Climate change and the survival of being”. Both the climate crisis and Covid-19, he says, are wake-up calls to our humanity – a call to deepen our psychology and even spirituality, fresh openings of the way in human consciousness. His other books include Soil and Soul (Aurum 2001) and Poacher’s Pilgrimage (Birlinn 2016).

This event will take online via Zoom and at least a third of the time will be given over to audience interaction.

An unmissable…

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Pentlands Book Festival 2020 – full programme now available

The online Pentlands Book Festival 2020 starts on Wednesday 11 November and concludes on Friday 20 November

Tales of One City

The full programme for the online Pentlands Book Festival 2020 has been announced. All events are online and, as always, all are free (although donations are welcomed).

The festival starts on Wednesday 11 November with Scots Makar, Jackie Kay and concludes on Friday 20 November with the dark tale of Burke and Hare.

Wed 11 Nov, 8pm: “Part Fable, Part Porridge” – in conversation with Jackie Kay.

Sat 14 Nov, 8pm: “The good, the good/bad and the crafty”; an online historical walk. 

Mon 16 Nov, 8pm: “Our Future: Perfect or Tense?” Celebrating a community writing project led by Helen Boden, Panashe Nyadundu and Reta MacLennan.

Tue 17 Nov, 8pm: “Journey into the Scottish Diaspora” with Billy Kay.

Thu 19 Nov, 8pm: “The Art of Illustration” with Metaphrog.

Fri 20 Nov, 8pm: “The Story of Burke and Hare – A dark tale!” with Eric Melvin.

Visit the

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Portobello Book Festival 2020 – on YouTube

Portobello Book Festival 2020 – several author interviews are available to watch on their YouTube channel

Welcome to the 2020 Portobello Book Festival. Like so many events worldwide, we have had to adapt to an unanticipated reality. The programme this year is necessarily somewhat restricted, but we still offer a variety of sessions in a variety of formats. You can find the full programme on the website, and we hope you will join us as often as you can. We hope that the festival will be entertaining, stimulating and informative, that it will encourage writers and readers alike. The local Portobello Bookshop will endeavour to make the featured books available. Finally, CS Lewis famously said ‘We read to know we are not alone’. We hope our book festival – restricted though it is – will provide some small sense of companionship and community to fellow readers and writers. Books, and the worlds they take us to, are perhaps more critical than ever, and we are delighted to share our selection with you this year.

Black History Month – Black composers (part one)

Tales of One City

As Black History Month draws to a close, the Music Library explores Black composers and performers who we believe deserve a place on your playlist all year round. The first in a series of blogs, we look at some of the earliest documented Black classical composers.

Ignatius Sancho
According to a biography by Joseph Jekyll, Ignatius Sancho was born on a slave shipenroute to the Spanish West Indies from Guinea around 1729. However, according to his letters that were published posthumously, Sancho states that he was born in Africa. Sancho’s mother died when he was a baby and his father committed suicide when faced with a life in enslavement. The orphaned Sancho was forced to work as a slave at a house in Greenwich when he was around the age of two and it was during this time that he met the 2nd Duke of Montagu, John Montagu, who helped…

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Pentlands Book Festival 2020 online

The Pentlands Book Festival kicks off tomorrow, Tuesday 13 October

Tales of One City

The Pentlands Book Festival kicks off tomorrow, Tuesday 13 October with the War Poets Memorial lecture given by Dr Jane Potter. She will talk about Wilfred Owen’s letters which served as his “only diary” and now also his autobiography.

Dr Potter’s talk will premiere on YouTube on Tuesday 13 October at 7.30pm.

The festival also includes virtual sessions with Jackie Kay, the art of illustration by Metaphrog, local history, local authors and a community writing project.

To see the full programme and get involved, visit the Pentlands Book Festival online.

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