Digitisation and Inserts

Digitisation programmes can provide the rare opportunity to assess collection material item by item, page by page. Even readers and researchers, who may well consult a volume extensively, are unlikely to scrutinise every single page of a volume in its entirety. Working as the National Library of Scotland digitisation conservator allows me to condition assess […]

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Sun-pictures and beyond

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 […]

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Browse: the world in bookshops

Bookshops have always possessed a kind of magic. How many of us have wandered into a bookshop for “a quick look” and have found ourselves still browsing the shelves hours later? In Browse: the world in bookshops, Henry Hitchings asks fifteen writers from around the world on their thoughts and experiences of bookshops.

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Mapping Slavery

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 […]

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Robert Naismith: Scotland’s town planner

2016 marks the centenary of the birth of architect and town planner Robert James Naismith (1916-2004). A small collection of his books and pamphlets were donated to the Library after his death and form an interesting collection of works relating to Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) and to town planning. Geddes, the celebrated social evolutionist and […]

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