A Design Classic

Originally published in 1856, Owen Jones’s Grammar of Ornament is still in print, with its most recent re-publication this year by Ivy Press.

Title page from original 1856 edition

Title page from original 1856 edition

Owen Jones was an architect and designer who taught Applied Arts at South Kensington School of Design in the 1850s and Superintendent of Works at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

The Grammar of Ornament represents Jones’s theories on design and features patterns and ornament from around the world from sources as diverse as ancient Egypt to India and China and in particular the Islamic world.

Moresque No 5 Plate XLII Design for tiles

Moresque No 5 Plate XLII Design for tiles

Jones’s theories on the use of colour, geometry and abstraction continue to resonate with designers today. It was the definitive sourcebook in 1856 and remains so today.

Get inspiration for your own designs by viewing the original edition held in the Art & Design Library’s collections. Recent editions are available to borrow through our catalogue.

Collecting contemporary children’s illustrated picture books

Regular visitors to Central Library may know that the Art & Design Library holds a historic collection of children’s illustrated books by Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott, Kate Greenaway, and Arthur Rackham, many of which can be viewed on Capital Collections.

Ross CollinsWe’re adding to this collection with a new special collection of contemporary children’s illustrators focusing on mainly illustrators working in Scotland. Books illustrated and/or written by illustrators Catherine Rayner, Alison Murray, Debi Gliori, Mairi Hedderwick and Ross Collins are now available to view in the Art & Design Library.

Catherine RaynerExamples of children’s illustrated picture books provide a valuable resource for students of illustration and we’re hoping that the start of this new collection will inspire artists and designers both today and in the years to come.

Debi GlioriView our collection at http://bit.ly/childrensillustrators. Please note these items held in the Art & Design Library are for use in the Library only but there are plenty of lending copies available from Central Children’s and community libraries.

Children grown? Donations of picture books to this new collection can be placed with the Art & Design Library. Please contact central.artanddesign.library@edinburgh.gov.uk if you wish to donate a picture book. Please note we can only accept items in good condition.

Seven uses for your library card besides borrowing books


Could you be getting more from your library card?

Here are seven things that magic little piece of plastic entitles you to – and they are all wonderfully FREE:

1. Download free emagazines and newspapers with PressReader and Zinio

2. Read scholarly journals with Access to Research

3. Get help setting up a new business using the COBRA database

4. Trace your family tree with Ancestry

5. Get book recommendations from a real life librarian

6. Stream music with Naxos

7. Take a mock driving theory test with Theory Test Pro

How do you use yours?







Around the world with Bookbug

We’re getting ready for a trip ‘Around the world with Bookbug’ to mark Bookbug Week (16 – 22 May).

Libraries are already working on ways to make this another fun-filled Bookbug Week and there will be special events in many libraries to mark the occasion. Please contact your local library here for more details. You’re welcome to join in the conversation on twitter using the#bookbugweek hashtag

The international theme will inspire children and adults alike to explore songs and rhymes from around the globe, and is a chance to celebrate a real library success story.

Find your nearest session  and join in the conversation on twitter using the #bookbugweek hashtag.


More about Bookbug in Edinburgh City Libraries

The Bookbug programme is managed by Scottish Book Trust but run in partnership with libraries, health professionals and nurseries. The programme encourages all parents and carers to enjoy books with children from as early an age as possible, developing a lifelong love of books in children all over Scotland. As well as a host of activities in libraries, every year in Edinburgh, nearly 7000 bookbug packs are gifted to children before they start primary school


Find out more at www.scottishbooktrust.com/bookbug

More!fun Children’s Book Festival 24 – 27 May

This year’s festival a celebration of words inspiring children to enjoy reading, writing and other creative activities takes place in Craigmillar, Portobello and Piershill Libraries in the east of the City.

There are lots of activities for local primary schools but also events open to the public.


Library staff are teaming up with Into Film, Puppet Animation Scotland, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature and the Scottish Poetry Library to deliver an exciting  programme of  creative writing and illustration workshops, animation screenings and lots more.

Book online to reserve a place

Digital toybox – Noisemakers: Build and keep your own synthesiser 

Meet the author Mirabelle Maslin talking about sharing stories and books with infants and children 

Minecraft Storylines  – an interactive story-writing workshop using minecraft to guide young writers to explore plot, character and dialogue and much more

Up! screening – More!fun festival presents a screening of Disney Pixar’s Up.

See the full programme.

Two artists, one war: Muirhead Bone and Louis Raemaekers

Central Library’s latest display shows two very different artistic perspectives on World War One.

Although commissioned by the War Propaganda Bureau, the drawings of Britain’s first official war artist, Muirhead Bone, give a restricted eye witness account of life on the front line. He depicts the quiet desolation of the aftermath of battle rather than the gruesome reality of conflict.

A Via Dolorosa, Mouquet Farm

A Via Dolorosa: Mouquet Farm, by Muirhead Bone, 1917

Louis Raemaekers approach is startlingly different. His cartoons, produced for the Amsterdam Telegraaf, criticised German brutality and leadership and supported the Allied cause. They combine biting critique, comical satire and hideous characterisations.

The Bill by Louis Raemaekers, 1917

The Bill by Louis Raemaekers, 1917

Two artists, one war is on display on the mezzanine level of Central Library until 26th May.

You can also explore many more works by the two artists on Capital Collections: Muirhead Bone and World War One and  Louis Raemaekers and World War One.

Art Library exhibition for May

May’s exhibition in the Art Library is a lovely collection of photographs by Amelia Modrak.

The Value of RealityAmelia tells us about her work:

I started taking photographs in my late twenties using disposable cameras. I enjoyed taking pictures of landscapes and urban architecture. Later on, in my thirties, I got an Olympus Camera as a farewell gift by my workmates, and I started taking photographs of more things, especially details or things that caused me some type of emotion. Currently, in my forties, I am working on everyday life images that embody the beauty and misery of reality.

Amelia doesn’t digitally enhance or alter any of her images, as she wishes to portray things as they are, hence the exhibition title: The Value of Reality.

The Value of Reality will be on display in the Art & Design Library, 3 – 30 May 2016.