The Cheviot set is a story on many levels. This remarkable stage set was made in 1973 as touring ‘scenery’ for ‘The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil’, the first production of 7:84 (Scotland) Theatre Company. The play – a game-changing modern classic of Scottish theatre – was written by John McGrath in […]
February 1st 2017 would have been Dame Muriel Spark’s 99th birthday. What it will be is the beginning of a year-long countdown to her centenary, signalling a series of events and activities that will celebrate the life and writing of one of Scotland’s greatest 20th Century writers. And while we at the Library are busy […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
“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).
With the acquisition of the John Murray publishing archive ten years ago, the National Library of Scotland welcomed the likes of Charles Darwin, Jane Austen and Lord Byron to the collections. Over a quarter of a million letters and publishing papers of some of the greatest names in literature bolstered already outstanding collections. But this was […]
The thousands of letters that I catalogue as part of the John Murray Archive cover a huge variety of themes. But one topic of conversation that comes up time and again is that of money. This is probably unsurprising. The John Murray Archive is, after all, a business archive. The ledgers and letters largely reflect […]