2014 was a fairly eventful year in Scotland; over this period, colleagues and I were working in co-operation with the British Library, National Library of Wales and Bodleian Library, to select and create archived versions of sites in two webarchive collections: Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum At the same time, Generation: 25 Years […]
Ice skating books at the Library : The John Simpson Christie Collection
Every four years ice skating captures the attention of the world when the Winter Olympics take place. This week the world has watched Aliona Savchenko with partner Bruno Massot collapse on the ice with joy and exhaustion after winning Olympic gold at her fifth attempt. In 1984 a British television audience of more than 24 […]
Making Public Alasdair Gray Prints
Two signed, limited-edition prints by Scottish artist, writer and cultural icon Alasdair Gray have just been acquired by The National Library of Scotland.
Scotland’s greatest ever confidence trickster?
We have recently bought a printed document linked to one of the boldest con men of all time, Gregor MacGregor (1786-1845). Other fraudsters may have made more money but MacGregor was breathtakingly audacious; he invented a country that didn’t exist, and then persuaded hundreds of investors to buy the bonds of a non-existent government and […]
Frustration, Fascination and Film Identification
From first viewing, it’s nothing very much to look at, a rather grainy piece of silent colour film lasting just under two minutes. Simply recorded as (Lifeboat Launch) the film was dated rather vaguely as ‘1950s’ with an ‘unknown location’. Time to send in the cataloguers.
Magazines at the National Library of Scotland
As you would expect the National Library of Scotland has academic journals on all disciplines and also Scottish magazines and serial publications ranging from influential 19th century literary journals such as “Blackwood’s Edinburgh magazine” to modern titles such as D C Thomson’s recently launched “Danger mouse” comic and the new Scottish football journal “Nutmeg”. What […]
Arthur Conan Doyle and the Berlin Olympics of 1916 that never took place
A century ago in 1916 the sixth Olympics of the modern era were scheduled to take place in Berlin but due to war they did not go ahead. Our collections include publications about the planning and preparations for these Olympics that never were. “The evolution of the Olympic Games 1829 B.C.-1914 A.D.” by F. A. […]
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 […]
Just who was the Wandering Piper?
A recent purchase of an unrecorded broadside, printed in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1833, provides a few tantalising clues as to the identity of the ‘Wandering Piper‘, who roamed throughout Britain and Ireland in the 1820 and 1830s. There are several contemporary accounts of the piper in provincial newspapers, one of which, from the Bury & Norwich […]
A volume with 16 rare Scottish chapbooks (AB.1.215.52) has been added to our collections. 15 of them were printed in Kilmarnock and one in Ayr. Among the chapbooks are four unrecorded printings (nos 3, 6, 7 and 12 in the volume). All items in this volume contain versions of popular ballads and songs of the […]