A recent donation of several World War II related books contained ‘Gekämpft, gesiegt, geschlagen’ written by Lothar Rendulić. It describes German military operations in the Finnmark/Troms region, close to the Russian border. The book is inscribed by Rendulić: ‘Mr. Liddell-Hart with my best greeting. Rendulic, Seewalcher am Allersee, November 1952.’ (Sir Basil Liddell-Hart was a […]
New tools for the Digital Gallery
Today we are excited to launch a new interface which provides you with a suite of tools to better research, use, share and enjoy more than 730,000 images from our Digital Gallery. You can now easily zoom in and out and pan across images, examining them at an extraordinary level of detail, flip through the […]
Nothing says ‘Christmas’ like a gun-toting duck …
For the Library’s shopping day this year (Thursday, 14th December) we will have on display a very varied selection of Christmas cards, some widely commercially available at the time, and others designed by respected artists, sometimes for their own use. One such was Jessie M. (Marion) King (1875–1949). She was a celebrated illustrator and designer who […]
Halloween in the National Library of Scotland
It was one of those blustery days, Halloween was approaching and the wee man wanted me to accompany him guising. I had my trepidations; when we were kids everyone in our street knew each other, in fact we grew up within a few miles radius – it wasn’t a big deal knocking on doors a […]
Are exams getting easier?
As many young people across Scotland await their exam results the National Library of Scotland is giving you an opportunity to look at the Scottish schools exam papers of bygone years. The digitised exam papers for the School Leavers Certificate from 1889-1961 and the Scottish Certificate of Education 1962-63 and these are now available to […]
1967 Sexual Offences Act: 50 years ago today
It is 50 years today (27th July) since the passing of the 1967 Sexual Relations Act, which de-criminalised male homosexuality (female homosexuality had never been criminalised). The findings of the Wolfenden Report were the biggest impetus for the change in the law. Amongst the Library’s huge collections we have many publications dating from the period […]
Tam Dalyell: the shipping news
When Tam Dalyell, the distinguished politician, died in January, I fell to reminiscing about his long public service. As is often the case, appreciation of a person’s qualities is heightened by their sudden departure; too late for delivering a message personally, we are inspired to write about them instead. I could focus on his detestation […]
Monster making in 1816
“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).
Happy anniversary: 10 years of the John Murray Archive at the National Library
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 […]
“What Do We Want? When Do We Want It? NOW!”
Outside the Reading Room until 6th January there is a small display of leaflets dating from the 1960s,’70s and ‘80s from various Scottish activist groups.