Accurate, beautiful, clever, dangerous, exciting. Maps can be all of these things. They show us new places, help us re-imagine familiar haunts and even enable us to travel through time. A map is both a useful tool and a magic carpet to far-away places. In the cold winter months we can travel in our minds […]
I solemnly swear that I am up to no good! J.K. Rowling’s magnificent imagination conjured up the Marauder’s Map of Hogwarts Castle. This magical map is usually disguised as a blank piece of parchment, activated by the spell above. Once unlocked, the map reveals a detailed plan of Hogwarts, covered in named, moving dots which […]
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 […]
Thomas Sturdy Law (1916-1997), a committed and powerful poet in the Scots language, was born in Lanarkshire one hundred years ago on Hallowe’en. Our current display in the main hall of our George IV Bridge building in Edinburgh notes the centenary of his birth, drawing on our extensive manuscript and published collections.
Most people when they think of films probably think of the latest blockbusters showing at the cinema; fantastic stories far removed from everyday life, and rarely showing anything of Scotland. What many people don’t realise is that for four decades the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive has been collecting and preserving all kinds […]
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 […]
Robert Adam arrived in Rome on the 24th of February 1755 and was immediately captivated by the city. He wrote to his sister Peggy that “Rome is the most glorious place in the universal world. A grandeur and tranquillity reigns in it, everywhere noble and striking remains of antiquity appear in it”. He was able […]
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).
To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Library is displaying its copy of the First Folio on Friday 22 April, from 12:00 to 14:00. It is often said to be one of the most significant books ever printed – but why? William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April, 1564, and died there on April […]