Scots poet on display – T.S. Law

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.

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Out in Scotland! LGBT display

(Sandstone Press) February is  LGBT History Month and we are celebrating the LGBT Scottish writing perspective with a small display just outside the Reading Rooms in our George IV Bridge building in Edinburgh. LGBT writing is especially vibrant in Scotland at the moment with many top sellers and prize winners. Recent National Library guest Val […]

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By way of illustration

Earlier this year we bought a gorgeous album of sketches and engravings by Joan Hassall. Hassall was a celebrated English wood engraver and illustrator, and the album tells the story of one book, ‘The Collected Poems of Andrew Young’. He was Scottish, and that’s why we bought it. The album includes Hassall’s account of how […]

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An unrecorded Glasgow printing

We have been fortunate to purchase an unrecorded Glasgow printing from 1688 (AP.1.215.14). The work consists of only 24 pages stitched together without a protective cover. The printers of this Glasgow edition, James and Matthew Robertson, were two of the principal chapbook printers in Scotland from 1782 onwards. They also published children’s books. The first […]

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Burns in the States

We have just bought the first collected American edition (AB.1.215.40-43) of Robert Burns’ poems. The four-volume set was published in Philadelphia in 1801. Philadelphia has lots of early associations with the poet: it’s the place where some of Burns’ poems first appeared in print in the USA, namely in the Pennsylvania Packet newspaper between 1787 and […]

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Images of Ossian

We recently had an opportunity to buy a rare copy in original wrappers of a portfolio of six lithographs and a leaf of descriptive text by the German artist Carl Harnisch (1800-1882). The illustrations are inspired by the poems of Ossian, the legendary Celtic bard. The work is entitled ‘Bildliche Darstellungen in Arabeskenform zu Ossians […]

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