Advocates Library on tv

Robert Fergusson sculpture by David Annand
Robert Fergusson sculpture by David Annand

A television documentary, Fergusson: Burns’ Forgotten Hero, was screened on BBC1 Scotland last Sunday.

In this documentary marking Burns Day, writer Andrew O’Hagan goes in search of the poet who inspired Burns: Robert Fergusson. Fergusson died young but his legacy was a love song to his native city, Edinburgh. Andrew tracks down his story in the streets and wynds of the Old Town. Fergusson’s vivid use of Scots led Burns to declare him his ‘forgotten hero’ and to pay a lasting tribute to this neglected Scottish poet.

Some filming for the programme took place inside the Advocates Library and outside Parliament House. The programme can be viewed on BBC iPlayer

My job

Hello, all,

I thought a great way to get to know each other would be leave a post with a brief description of our jobs and the library we work for.

So here’s a brief description of my job and the library I work for:

I am a serials library assistant at the Advocates Library. The Advocates Library is the library that serves the information needs of members of the Faculty of Advocates. Due to the fact that it acted as the legal deposit library for Scotland until the foundation of the National Library, the Advocates Library has retained the privilege of receiving free copies of all legal works published in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Members of the public have the right to consult the library’s holdings via the National Library of Scotland.

The department I work for is small team that consists of a serials librarian and two library assistants. We process all the serial publications that come to the library: journals, CD-ROMs, official publications, serial monographs, updates for loose-leaf… I think that is all.

My remit are loose-leafs, official publications and European publications. Dealing with loose-leafs takes up most of my time as several issues might arise: updates which do not arrive, missing pages, broken binders, missing copies… Thankfully, I do not have to file all the updates that come to the library (around 500 titles) myself, as the other library assistants help out with this task. Here is a picture of what the updates look like before being filed:

This is not my first job in libraries: I have previously worked as a relief library assistant for Edinburgh libraries (lots of travelling around!) and as a library supervisor in Campbeltown (the remotest place I have ever lived in!).

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON: The Story of His Life in Word and Song narrated by Alexander McCall Smith

Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust event at the Advocates Library

A Very Fine Library

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON: The Story of His Life in Word and Song narrated by Alexander McCall Smith
Friday, 21 November 2014,  7:00- 8:30 PM
Laigh Hall, Parliament House, Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF

In this recital, celebrated author Alexander McCall Smith will take you on a journey through the life of a previous Edinburgh writer, Robert Louis Stevenson.


Stevenson’s story will be interspersed with song settings of some of his works, by composers including R. Vaughan Williams, Ronald Stevenson, John Ireland, Roger Quilter, Edith Swepstone, Frank Wildhorn and Mary Carmichael.

The programme will also include a composition for fiddle by RLS himself.

Although RLS is now remembered as an author, he was also an advocate. This recital will take place in the Advocates Library, where Stevenson read for the bar and practiced. This evening is presented with support from the Faculty of Advocates. It is part of the Edinburgh UNESCO City of…

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