One of the best thing about working with archives is finding records that give a real sense of the personality of the writer. There are many examples of this throughout the John Murray Archive, an archive that spans over two hundred years. The letters written to the successive heads of the publishing house regularly take a personal […]
Once you get past the early hours of the morning traditionally very little happens in Scotland on New Year’s Day. Appropriately on January 1st 2017 something is happening that is very quiet, automatic but in terms of Scottish literature quite exciting. The works of five varied but important Scottish female authors will no longer be […]
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.
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.
As it is the 50th anniversary of England winning the World Cup in 1966 we thought we would highlight a Scottish literary connection to England’s triumph. England Captain Bobby Moore’s autobiography “My soccer story” was ghost written by a Scotsman who would go onto to become a Booker Prize shortlisted author and be involved in […]
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 […]
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 […]
(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 […]
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