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 […]
As well as being a repository of knowledge the National Library of Scotland is an archive of publishing trends and fashions. You might remember the Magic Eye books of the mid 1990s? If you squinted at an image in these books in the right way a 3D landscape would open up before your eyes as […]
Robert Louis Stevenson has been on my mind lately for various reasons, not least because we have a cataloguing project currently underway to sort and describe the extensive papers of Ernest Mehew , the outstanding Stevenson expert of his (or any other) day. We were given the archive of Ernest and Joyce Mehew, and Edinburgh Napier University have the […]
Earlier this year we bought a gorgeous album of sketches and engravings by Joan Hassall. Hassall was a celebrated English wood engraver and illustrator, and the album tells the story of one book, ‘The Collected Poems of Andrew Young’. He was Scottish, and that’s why we bought it. The album includes Hassall’s account of how […]
As the Project that brings you these posts is due to end in March of this year, I wanted to share with you, whilst I can, some of the more unexpected items I have found in the Printing Record from the First World War. Like many of us perhaps, my understanding of this brutal conflict […]
On the 25th August, 1939, John Bartholomew and Son printed 10,347 copies of their ‘Automobile Association Map of England and Wales’. As far as maps go, I think it’s fair to say it’s not exactly anything to write home about. Stripped away of any extraneous information, beyond the roads themselves, the strictly black and white […]
Upon the commencement of John George Bartholomew’s tenure as director of John Bartholomew & Co. in 1888, there is a marked tendency towards the cartographic. The riotous miscellany which characterised earlier times was replaced by better and better mapping. However, there are always exceptions to this rule, with the subject of this entry being just […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this superlative description was a reference to The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, however, the uncharacteristic hubris used in this advertising actually concerns Bartholomew’s Citizen’s Atlas of the World.
I have a tendency to shudder at the mere thought of advertising. The idea of television programmes which tantalisingly countdown the top 100 adverts fill me with dread, on many levels. Can something so inherently awful ever be beautiful? Of course, it turns out that the answer is yes. Until now this blog has focused […]
This item, from the Bartholomew Archive Printing Record, is a stark contrast to and visually unique from anything else that I have found. It pre-dates Piet Mondrian’s self styled Neo-Plasticism by a good 25 years and whilst you could be forgiven for thinking it was a work of art, as it happens, this is science.