David Hockney: a bigger picture

(Photo credit: Royal Academy of Arts. Image above shows a red-coloured path with grass, flowers and a line of brightly coloured trees on either side of it with the text David Hockney A bigger picture in the centre of the image) The Royal Academy of Arts presents the first major exhibition of new landscape works […]

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On World Book Day: in praise of books

I thought it would be appropriate to mark World Book Day with some quotations from our exhibition Beyond Macbeth in praise of books. William Drummond is one of my favourite collectors – his motivation in building his collection seems to have been his love of reading all kinds of literature. He wrote two essays about libraries. The first […]

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Shakespeare Exhibition: Beyond Macbeth

  Our new exhibition Beyond Macbeth: Shakespeare in Scottish Collections is now open! This exhibition is a collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, showcasing the two libraries’ world-class collections of early editions of Shakespeare’s plays, other early modern drama, and manuscripts relating to the study of Shakespeare. On display are the First Folio, the first […]

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A Previously Loved Book

Here’s a book we bought not so much because of what’s in it, but because of who owned it. It’s an English translation of a theological treatise by a French noblewoman, Louise Francoise de la Baume le Blanc, Duchesse de la Valliere (1644-1710), called The penitent lady (NLS shelfmark  AB.1.211.014).  The book itself does not look terribly exciting – but […]

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Temperance is the only solution!

We’ve been fortunate recently to buy a copy of a book which appears to be the only known copy! It’s called Whiskiana, or the drunkard’s progress.  A poem. In Scottish verse (NLS shelfmark AP.1.211.06), and it was printed in Glasgow in 1812: Whiskiana deals with the “evil of habitual intoxication”.  The author acknowledges the popular Scots poet Hector Macneill as an inspiration […]

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