Once you get past the early hours of the morning traditionally very little happens in Scotland on New Year’s Day. Appropriately on January 1st 2017 something is happening that is very quiet, automatic but in terms of Scottish literature quite exciting. The works of five varied but important Scottish female authors will no longer be […]
For some people, this may be a little early to be posting about Christmas. We are not long in to December after all. But since the Christmas trees, tinsel and twinkly lights seem to be going up here in Edinburgh (where the National Library of Scotland archive offices are based), it seemed natural to keep […]
Scotland and the photographically illustrated book 1845-1900 In October 1844 Henry Talbot, the inventor of the calotype negative (Talbotype) process of photography travelled to Scotland along with Nicolaas Henneman, his former valet who was now running his own Talbotype establishment in Reading. Talbot, with the aid of Henneman, was planning to take photographs to illustrate […]
It shocks many people to learn that when in 1833, the British Parliament finally abolished slavery in various parts of the British Empire, those most closely involved in the trade received huge sums of money in compensation. It has been estimated that of the £20 million compensation payments, half remained in Great Britain, with the […]
If you are interested in researching your Catholic ancestors in Scotland then Andrew R. Nicoll’s book “Scottish Catholic Family History: a family historian’s guide to Catholic parish registers and cemetery records for Scotland and the Bishopric of the Forces” (2011) provides a good starting point. It provides details of what records are available, where they […]
Robert Louis Stevenson has been on my mind lately for various reasons, not least because we have a cataloguing project currently underway to sort and describe the extensive papers of Ernest Mehew , the outstanding Stevenson expert of his (or any other) day. We were given the archive of Ernest and Joyce Mehew, and Edinburgh Napier University have the […]
August has become a regular month for a small music display at the National Library of Scotland to coincide with the Edinburgh International Festival. A selection of items from the collections of the many musical works that will be performed over the coming month will be shown. A major theme this year is music related to the literary […]
When the John Murray Archive (JMA) arrived at the National Library of Scotland in 2006, approximately 17,500 individuals had been identified as having an item relating to them in the archive. For each of these, their full name, dates and epithet (a little descriptive detail in order to distinguish that particular person) needs to be […]
Our Treasures exhibition – Playing Shakespeare: 400 years of great acting– part of this year’s world-wide commemoration of Shakespeare’s death in 1616, is coming to the end of its run, with only a few days left. Monday 13 June is your last chance to see four centuries of Shakespeare on stage.
“We shall each write a ghost story” was Lord Byron’s challenge to his guests at Villa Diodati near Geneva in the summer of 1816. This competition would eventually produce two of the greatest gothic novels; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819).