One would not automatically associate the National Library of Scotland with art collections. In fact, the Library has acquired a substantial number of paintings, sculptures, busts and art prints through the centuries and continues to add to these collections. In addition to being a Curator of Rare Books, one of my other hats is Art […]
When Tam Dalyell, the distinguished politician, died in January, I fell to reminiscing about his long public service. As is often the case, appreciation of a person’s qualities is heightened by their sudden departure; too late for delivering a message personally, we are inspired to write about them instead. I could focus on his detestation […]
One of the best things about working with archives is finding records that give a real sense of the personality of the writer. There are many examples of this throughout the John Murray Archive, an archive that spans over two hundred years. The letters written to the successive heads of the publishing house regularly take a personal […]
This week sees the inauguration of a new festival running from the 20th to the 30th of March. Rare Books Edinburgh is dedicated to rare, collectable, and important books and the history of the book and is promoting a series of events and talks across the city. The National Library of Scotland is one of […]
The word ‘bazaar’ was first used to describe a sale of work in 1813 in London and spread throughout the developed world in the 19th century. By the 1870s they were huge extravaganzas lasting several days, with entertainments, such as puppet shows, theatrical performances and displays of novelties such as electric light,
From first viewing, it’s nothing very much to look at, a rather grainy piece of silent colour film lasting just under two minutes. Simply recorded as (Lifeboat Launch) the film was dated rather vaguely as ‘1950s’ with an ‘unknown location’. Time to send in the cataloguers.
My name is Sarah Hutcheson. I’m currently completing an internship within Rare Books Collections as part of my MSc in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies at the University of Edinburgh. I have spent most of my time here at the National Library working on the Provenance Project, researching and identifying the previous ownership history of rare books […]
This month’s Map of the Month celebrates the work of Alexander von Humboldt. The map Outlines of Botanical Geography appears in W.K. Johnston’s Physical Atlas (1848). Humboldt played an important part in the design and production of this map. Bearing an almost Faustian thirst for knowledge, Humboldt aimed to explore as much of the world as […]
A conservator’s job often involves removing non-archival tapes which have been used for repairs; a letter of C. F. Gordon Cumming to John Murray from 1885, however, proved particularly challenging.