Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ACADEMIC - National Library of Scotland

On our first full day in Scotland we took the bus to Edinburgh and visited the National Library of Scotland. It's a copyright library so it gets copies of all things published in the UK. This library began as a library for advocates, aka lawyers, in the 1860s. It became a copyright library in 1710. So it was initially a law library! This means though that some things were weeded out a long time ago that the lawyers didn't think they needed to keep, even though the library was deemed a copyright library.

The NLS is the largest library in Scotland. It houses about 14 million items. It is funded by the Scottish Government.

Now the library collects all things, especially items pertaining to Scotland. The library also puts on exhibitions. We got to look around the current exhibition titled "The Original Export: Stories of Scottish Emigration" which was filled with suitcases that displayed items from Scottish emigrates. I thought the best part was this wall with luggage tags that you got to write your own emigration story on, if you knew of one. I thought about writing my mom's name down but I didn't.

The library also features a great cafe, shop and internet wi-fi area that seems to be heavily used. Our visit there was short but informational and the exhibit was one of the best I've seen in the UK so far. For more information about the National Library of Scotland, click here.

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