Treasures of the National Library of Scotland Exhibition Opens on George IV Bridge 

Treasures of the National Library of Scotland (NLS) is a new permanent thematic display, featuring objects from the extensive collection at the Library on Edinburgh’s George IV Bridge. From early printed books to video installations, maps and medieval manuscripts to passports and letters, this changing display provides a unique insight into Scotland’s history, culture and people, and its place in the world. 

The eclectic Treasures include Timothy Pont’s ground-breaking maps; belongings of pioneer Isobel Wylie Hutchison; Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species; a letter from Ludwig van Beethoven; Scotland’s first printers Chepman & Myllar; a complete Gutenberg Bible; international first editions of Harry Potter; King of Speyside James Scott Skinner captured on wax cylinder and Robert Burns’ Ae Fond Kiss. Treasures will also have a dedicated space on the NLS website, featuring items that have been part of the exhibitions, blogs and video content. www.nls.uk/treasures 

The displays include the topics: Ideas and Beliefs; Scotland’s Bard with a letter containing one of Robert Burns’ most well-known love songs; Gaelic; Shaping the Nation; Mapping our World; Travel; Innovation; Leisure and the Arts; Literature; Book Arts; People Power; Early Printed Books; Digital Collecting; Sound Collections  featuring James Scott Skinner and wax cylinder recordings c.1920’s and Moving Image Archive featuring the short film Where the Bens Stand Sentinel by Ronald L. Jay, 1928-32 and Neu! Treasures! when NLS and Neu! Reekie! have commissioned artists to respond to collection items which will be displayed in the Treasures exhibition. 

The launch of Neu! Treasures! is scheduled to take place live and in-person in The National Library on 1 April. Library Late x Neu! Reekie! Tickets, Fri 1 Apr 2022 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

Chief Executive and National Librarian Amina Shah said“As guardian of the nation’s published and recorded memory, we have an unparalleled collection of materials. The Treasures exhibition gives people a glimpse into the vast collections – many of which are typically stored among the multiple floor levels beneath their very feet. We’re excited to launch this much-anticipated exhibition, which will provide visitors with unique insights into Scotland’s story, and its place in the world.” 

The Treasures exhibition opens to the public on Friday 25 March 2022, and features work from the breadth of NLS’ collections. Some displays will be refreshed every six months to explore the many rich facets of the Library’s archives.

Entry to the exhibition is free of charge and is suitable for all ages, with some text reflecting Scotland’s trilingual status of English, Gaelic and Scots.

NLS is grateful to the donors who made this exhibition possible namely Garfield Weston Foundation, Hugh Fraser Foundation, National Library of Scotland Foundation, Sir Boyd Tunnock, Jeffrey Jay and Mike Lampert.

Irene Brown

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