Monday, July 26, 2010

National Library of Scotland--July 19, 2010

The National Library of Scotland is the legal deposit library of Scotland. A major focus of the collection is materials created by Scottish Authors. Since the Legal Deposit Library Act of 2003, the library also has the right to collect materials published digitally such as e-journals and websites.

The collection is made up of 14 million books and manuscripts, 2 million maps and atlases, 30,000 musical scores, 32,000 films and videos, and 25,000 periodical titles. The library acquires approximately 6,000 items each week.

A large portion of the collection is available online. Anyone may obtain a reader's card for free and use the library. It is strictly a reference collection and no material may be checked out.

Unfortunately, we were unable to tour the library due to the size of our group, but we were able to view the public exhibitions.

One was A Swing through Time: Golf in Scotland. It used golf artifacts and well-written display descriptions to take the viewer through the history of golf. It was an interesting exhibit, even for a non-golfer such as myself. I particularly liked a quote that was used in one of the displays:

"Who but the Scots could evolve a game that offers such opportunities for humiliation and failure, and no one but oneself to blame for it" --Andrew Greig from Preferred Lies

The other exhibit was the John Murray Archive Exhibition. It featured interactive display kiosks that corresponded with the items in the display cases. Each kiosk/case combination focused on a different author who was published by John Murray. It allowed users to interact with the artifacts in a more meaningful way that simply peering into a display case.

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