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.
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.
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.
Ornella Pantani from the Main Library Helpdesk at Edinburgh University has submitted a wee post about their current exhibition:
Have you been a fan of the latest BBC programme ‘How to Stay Young?’. In this case, like me, you will have quite a surprise if you happen to go to the exhibition currently on display until the 26 November in the Exhibition Gallery, Main Library, University of Edinburgh, George Square. The Exhibition explores the pioneering and ground-breaking work in the field of educational research conducted by Professor Sir Godfrey Hilton Thomson, aimed to test the intelligence of every 11-year-old in Scotland.
In the last episode of the BBC programme, they went to Edinburgh to meet some of the very people that were involved in this original study, which represents in its totality the largest-scale of IQ test in Europe. So I’ve found very fascinating to learn in more details about this project, its creator, the way it was developed and its importance.
The Exhibition covers the professional life as well as the personal life of Professor Sir Godfrey Hilton Thomson, giving a full story of the man, his vision and achievements.
A very enjoyable and informative display for all to see.
The exhibition is free and is open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm.
The Museum has a large and varied archive, which includes from the records of the Lothian Coal Company, minute books and papers of the National Union of Mineworkers, and a collection of over 30000 largely National Coal Board plans and engineering drawings.
We were welcomed by the Keeper, Ellie Swinbank, who gave us into the hands of two friendly and knowledgeable volunteers for a tour.
George and Andrew, volunteers and mining experts
we are enthralled
Andrew pointing out something of interest
National Mining Museum Scotland Library & Archive
Although there is no library professional employed there, George and Andrew are both ex employees of the mine with expert knowledge in the field. They generously showed us round their surprisingly varied collection.
After the library tour Ellie invited us to visit the main museum exhibition. This was excellent and I’d like to go back when I can take time to look around more. I’m also keen to take the pithead tour!
Choice books from private presses inspired by the late 19th century British arts and crafts movement are matched with some of the very earliest printed books in the Library’s collections. By conceiving the book as a unified whole in which format, page design, type, illustration, binding and raw materials all work together harmoniously, private presses were able to create works of art, the ideal of the ‘Book Beautiful.’
16th Sept 2015, 9.15-10.15am at National Library of Scotland
This is an opportunity to hear from the curator of the NLS’s summer exhibition. If you don’t know a peck from a mutchkin or you fancy serving mock turtle soup for your next dinner party come along on the 16th Sept and see how the diet of our ancestors has influenced what we eat today.