Bobby visits Central Library

We celebrated the life and times of Greyfriars Bobby by inviting champion Skye Terrier Hanna and her pup Murren to the library to meet with a group of schoolchildren from Abbeyhill Primary School.

At Central Library

Moira and Katie with their Skye Terriers Hanna and Murren at Central Library

Hanna’s owner Moira shared her lifelong fascination with this legendary Edinburgh story and her dedication to the now rare Skye Terrier breed.  Moira’s granddaughter Katie took charge of the pup, but like many youngsters Murren was too fidgety for a photo shoot at the famous statue. But well done to Hanna for staying put, and we were glad that no one rubbed her nose!

Hanna and Bobby

Hanna and Bobby

There’s no business like snow business…

“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but look what they can do when they stick together” – unknown

Seventy years ago, in 1947 Britain suffered the severest winter for centuries. Between January and March that year, snow fell everyday somewhere in the country for 55 days in a row.

Digging out the Borders Railway in snow

Digging out the Borders Railway in snow

On 10 and 11 March, Scotland had its heaviest snowfall of the winter with snowdrifts up to seven metres deep reported. There were severe disruptions to energy supplies to homes, offices and factories and many businesses shut down temporarily.

Digging out the Waverley Line

With snow covering the track of the Waverley Line, this had to be dug out manually. Men were roped together for safety but in spite of the cold they were in everyday working clothes and some were even bare-headed and without gloves.

Job done!

The strangest thing about 1947 was that the first part of the winter was very mild, with temperatures in some places reaching 14c.

There was also other strange occurrences, lack of sun in some parts in the south and huge amounts of sun in Western Scotland. A completely dry month in western Scotland is unusual, it was unprecedented in February. In late March floods developed as the snow melted rapidly.

To view more photographs of the Borders Railway in Winter 1947 visit Capital Collections.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2017: How can life go on?

Holocaust Memorial DayOn 27 January we mark Holocaust Memorial Day. We remember not only the millions killed in the Holocaust under Nazi persecution, but also those who have been victims of subsequent genocides. We honour the survivors and reflect upon the lessons of their experiences to challenge hatred and persecution and to prevent future atrocities.
This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day asks the question `How can life go on?’, asking us to consider what happens after a genocide.

From Wednesday 11 – Saturday 28 January a display from library collections on the Mezzanine floor, Central Library, considers the creative response to the Holocaust and the contribution that peoples of Jewish origin have made to the cultures of the countries that they were displaced to. We explore how suffering can be channelled and expressed through art, music and writing through pieces reflecting on the Holocaust and how artists, musicians and writers emerged from their experiences, demonstrating how life can go on.

At Central Library on Friday 27 January, 2 – 3pm,  Dr Hannah Holtschneider from the University of Edinburgh is delivering a talk entitled `Holocaust Memorial Day – `How can life go on? The long way home’, reflecting on the aftermath of the Holocaust for refugees and survivors who came to Scotland.

The news of Christmas past

We’re still in the Christmas mood and have been flicking through the pages of the British Newspaper Archive, delving into Christmases past.

1918’s panto at the King’s Theatre was Jack and The Beanstalk… Oh yes it was!

Jack and The Beanstalk- 1918

5th January 1918

In 1900 there was a “Great Christmas and New Year Carnival” in the Waverley Market, which had been turned into “a veritable Fairyland” and not a big wheel or German Market in sight!

carnival

25th December 1924

In 1920 the coolest Christmas gift was a gramophone…..fast forward 96 years, and once again it’s appearing on Santa’s list.

gramophone

24th December 1920

With Christmas Day only becoming a public holiday in Scotland in 1958, most workers were lucky to get a half days holiday to celebrate….

co-op

22nd December 1924

All these ads were taken from the Edinburgh Evening News, but there are over 14 million digitised pages from more than 700 UK and Irish newspapers available on the British Newspaper Archive. You can browse for FREE in Central Library’s Edinburgh & Scottish Collection and Reference Library.

So do come and have a look yourself and use the Libraries computers to explore thousands of newspapers from 1710-1954 for FREE.

The Furuyama Moromasa Scroll is now available to view online!

Regular readers of this blog will have kept up with the story of our beautiful 18th century Japanese scroll. We’re now very pleased to report that you can view the full 44ft long scroll in its entirety on Capital Collections!

The scroll dates from the early 1700s and depicts the bustling theatre district of Edo, modern-day Tokyo. The artwork, entitled ‘Theatres of the East’ represents a major discovery in the ‘ukiyo-e’ school of art, and is a detailed illustration of all manner of 18th century Japanese street life.

In the Capital Collections exhibition, you can click on each image to zoom in and browse the incredible detail within each section. See if you can spot the bathhouse, the man in his tower keeping a watchful eye out for fires, a puppet theatre, tightrobe walking acrobats, a dog chasing rats away and even a pantomime horse….

Section from Central Library's Furuyama Moromasa scroll

Section from Central Library’s Furuyama Moromasa scroll

Detail showing pantomime horse on stage.

Detail showing pantomime horse on stage.

You can catch up on the Scroll story so far with these earlier blog posts:

 

Page Flipper the penguin visits the Library

Central Library’s Dyslexia Chatterbooks Group meets on the last Tuesday of each month in the Central Children’s Library. page-flipper-2The following is an extract from a story created by the group at a recent meeting. The children started by putting their ideas together on a storyboard with the help of Library Advisor, Beth Cochrane. The original idea for the story started with a missing toy Penguin, who mysteriously turned up in the library one day…

When he entered Page Flipper found himself surrounded by lots and lots of books, so he decided to pick one up and read it. It was called ‘The Giant Penguin Book.’ But as he started to read, he started to grow! Once he had finished the book, he realised he was now a giant penguin!

After searching for more fun and interesting books, Page Flipper found himself a little bitpage-flipper-1 lost. He shouted for help, and along came a friendly librarian. With a big smile on her face she said: “Hello! My name’s Sophie, would you like to come to our Chatterbooks?” Page Flipper was happy to be invited so along he went, and made lots of new friends at Chatterbooks. So many new friends, in fact, that he decided he would live in the Library forever!

For more information about the Dyslexic Chatterbooks Group contact carol.marr@edinburgh.gov.uk

Robert Burns Poetry Competition

Our friends in Dunedin (Edinburgh’s twin city) would love some entries from Edinburgh for this year’s Robert Burns Poetry Competition. Why not give it a go? You can get lots of inspiration from our Edinburgh and Scottish Collection or from the  Robert Burns exhibition on Capital Collections.

Portrait of Robert Burns

Robert Burns

 

Find out how to enter the competition, there is still plenty of time as the closing date isn’t until 4th January,

Robert Burns Competition Poster