Surviving Emotions

One of the best things 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 […]

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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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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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The Archival Detective

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 […]

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Money and Murray

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 […]

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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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