Vitruvius Scoticus – a Scottish classic from our special collections

We’re celebrating our architectural collections in VisitScotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.

In the 1720s foremost Scottish architect of his time, William Adam (1689-1748) started planning his publication of Vitruvius Scoticus. He aimed to present a collection of architectural drawings illustrating examples of his own classical building style and that of his contemporaries.

Vitruvius Scoticus was started and named in response to the Scottish architect and architectural writer Colen Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus published 1715-1725. Vitruvius Scoticus was finally published in 1812 by William Adam’s grandson William Adam of Blair Adam (1751-1839), and contains 160 plates, including 100 of Adam’s own designs.

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William Adam was the leading architect in Scotland, designing and building numerous country houses and public buildings during the early C18th.

Among his best known works are Hopetoun House near Edinburgh, and Duff House in Banff. His individual, exuberant style built on the Palladian style, but with Baroque details inspired by Vanbrugh and Continental architecture.

Vitruvius Scoticus continues to remain a reference for many an architect and architectural historian documenting the early development of a classical style in Scotland.

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To request to view Vitruvius Scoticus email central.artanddesign.library@edinburgh.gov.uk or tel 0131 242 8040 – appointments only.

A facsimile copy of Vitruvius Scoticus is also available to consult in the Art & Design Library without an appointment.

For more information on William Adam search the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Isla enjoys her week in the Music Library

From the 27th to the 30th of June 2016 I went on a work experience placement at the Music Library at Central Library. I chose this location as I am interested in music (I am studying Advanced Higher Music next year in S6) and I was interested in seeing how the library system works.  Whilst I was at the Music Library, I did several tasks, ranging from setting up a display on jazz to promote the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival to finding books and CDs for readers, and discharging and shelving books. I saw round the many departments in Central Library. It was interesting to see the variety of tasks done by Music Library and other staff in Central Library. This made my work experience placement very enjoyable and it also made me consider working in a library in the future.

Putting up Library display
I found some materials in the Music Library which I thought could be useful to students who are studying for Higher and Advanced Higher Music; there are many books on composers and the history of music, which could provide information to use in written projects. If students need sheet music of an appropriate standard (i.e. Grade 4 or Grade 5 level) for the Performance part of Higher and Advanced Higher Music, there are many scores available in the Music Library for various instruments.

Looking at Library books

There’s a piano in the Music Library which students can use if they need to practise. Finally, the online classical music streaming website Naxos, which is accessible via the Edinburgh Libraries website, can be used for listening to different styles and periods of classical music. This could be useful for listening practice in preparation for the final written exam.

I also came across helpful resources for Higher and Advanced Higher languages on the Edinburgh Your Library website;  Library card holders can read international newspapers in 60 different languages with Library PressDisplay and learn words and phrases in various languages with Transparent Language Online.  Oxforddictionaries.com provides information on how to use languages and aspects of language correctly.

Many students may not be aware that these study resources are available, and all that is required to access them is just a library card.

The Big Friendly Read is here!

The Big Friendly Read

This year The Reading Agency and Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland celebrate 100 years of the world’s favourite storyteller Roald Dahl, with The Big Friendly Read.

Children are challenged to read six books from the library during the school holidays. They can choose any six books, including picture books, fact books, ebooks and audiobooks. For each completed book, they’ll receive a limited edition Quentin Blake collector card, and those who read six books will get a medal and certificate.

We’ve got lots of fun activities happening throughout the holidays at your local library too. This year we’re teaming up with Edinburgh Art Festival and other partners so there will be loads of opportunities to draw, make, design and create in libraries.

Pop into your local library and join in the fun for free.

The Summer Reading Challenge runs until 27 August 2016.

Travel Light

Don’t know about you, but the thing I really look forward to most about being on holiday is getting plenty time to read. This used to result in me taking a rather large suitcase stuffed with books. Unfortunately airlines are making it an expensive business these days to take much luggage at all. Why not do what I do and use downloadable ebooks, audiobooks and magazines so that you can travel light on luggage, but weighed down with good things to read!

SuitcaseOverDrive lets you borrow up to 10 ebooks or audiobooks and even works abroad if you finish what you’ve taken with you. Top tip: If you are using a tablet to read from and are finding it difficult to read because of the sun on your screen why not use the settings within the ebook to change the background colour of the paper to black with white text and viola no glare!

Audiobooks are perfect for listening to whilst travelling in the car or lying on the beach. As well as OverDrive we’ve got another two audiobook services so you’ll never run out of good things to listen to. OneClickdigital and BorrowBox have hundreds of titles to choose from and handily can be used from your smartphone making them a perfect space saving option.

416381485_lgMy favourite holiday reading indulgence though is magazines and with Zinio I can take as many magazines as I like without weighing down my hand luggage. With 116 varied titles to choose from as well as back copies, the choice is endless. My travel favourites are National Geographic Traveller (so I can plan the next trip!), Top Sante (so I can feel healthy whilst lounging around) and HELLO! (to see how the other half live!).

 

Download ‘A Murder in Time’ for Free and join the world’s biggest book group

BLR

When brilliant FBI agent Kendra Donovan stumbles back in time and finds herself in a 19th century English castle under threat from a vicious serial killer, she scrambles to solve the case before it takes her life – 200 years before she was even born.

From now until the 7th July OverDrive are offering library members all over the world the chance to download the ebook for free, and to discuss the book on the Big Library Read website, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #biglibraryread. Why not host your own Book group and use our handy Reading Group Guide to discuss the book.

If you’re a library member and want to know more about the thousands of ebooks and audiobooks you can borrow for free using OverDrive, here’s how to get started.

Join in with National Crime Reading Month

NCRM

National Crime Reading Month (NCRM) is a unique literary festival, held throughout the UK, which promotes the crime genre, both fiction and non fiction. NCRM is designed to bring together writers and readers in order to promote the genre as a whole and writers specifically.

Edinburgh Libraries have a great range of crime books so get in to the NCRM spirit and check out our catalogue to see what you could borrow from your local library today. Or download an ebook or audiobook from our NCRM Collection on OverDrive.

Calling all aspiring authors!

Submissions are currently invited for New Writing Scotland 35, to be published in summer 2017. Previously unpublished work from writers resident in Scotland, or Scots by birth, upbringing or inclination is welcome.

All forms of writing can be submitted, in any of the languages of Scotland.

Full submission instructions are available online