Scottish cricket books

As summer is here we thought it was a good time to showcase items on Scottish cricket from the collections. Although not the first sport you might associate with Scotland, cricket in Scotland has a long and fascinating history. We also have more Scottish cricket items in the collections than you might expect. The collections […]

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Scottish local sports club histories

Walk around any town or city in Scotland and sooner rather than later you are likely to come across a sports club. Scotland is full of bowling greens, tennis courts and other sports venues often tucked away in otherwise residential areas. Similarly most community notice boards will have details of judo, karate, table tennis and […]

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Scottish Poorhouses

The Poor Law (Scotland) Act 1845 set up parochial boards in towns and rural areas and a Board of Supervision in Edinburgh. One of their purposes was to build poorhouses for those paupers who were not eligible for ‘outdoor relief’, which consisted of small sums of money given out weekly. The Board of Supervision published […]

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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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Scottish glass industry

William Cooper, crown-glass cutter, glazier, and stained glass maker to King William IV had a glass warehouse at 18 Picardy Place, Edinburgh in the early nineteenth century. He also wrote ‘The crown glass cutter and glazier’s manual’ in 1835, describing the history of glassmaking, the processes of glass manufacture and the different methods of using […]

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Sunset Song on screen

Film adaptations of Scottish literature have been very much in my mind recently. In November we celebrated Stevenson on screen for RLS Day, and last week I was in Inverness talking about the Hitchcock film version of John Buchan’s The thirty-nine steps –  now many of us are catching up with the long-awaited film of  Sunset song

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The First Edinburgh Musical Festival of 1815

Two hundred years ago today, at ten o’clock in the morning, musicians from London, Carlisle, Glasgow and Edinburgh gathered together for a first rehearsal to present a musical extravaganza never before heard in Scotland, a musical festival! Edinburgh enjoyed its first ‘Festival Week’. “From England, and the remotest parts of Scotland, individuals and whole families […]

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