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.

Christmas and New Year opening hours

Here are our Libraries’ opening hours over Christmas and New Year:

Saturday 24 December – opening hours as normal
Monday 26 December – closed
Tuesday 27 December – closed
Wednesday 28 December – opening hours as normal
Thursday 29 December – opening hours as normal
Friday 30 December – opening hours as normal
Saturday 31 December – opening hours as normal
Monday 2 January – closed
Tuesday 3 January – closed
Wednesday 4 January onwards – opening hours as normal

For more detailed information visit your local library’s web page and remember, Your Library is always open online.

You can download free ebooks, audiobooks and magazines from Your Library throughout the holidays and keep up with the latest news with free access to Library PressDisplay.

26 Children’s Winters goes online!

Our friends in Edinburgh Museums and Galleries have added a gorgeous exhibition of childhood memories of winter to Capital Collections.

26 Children’s Winters is an exciting exhibition which captures the intangible memories of childhood – tingling cold hands, rainy day boredom, the excitement of opening presents, the whizz and bang of fireworks – through objects from the Museum of Childhood’s collection, and writings inspired by them by the ‘26’ group of writers.

We gather - Board Games

‘…five I really need a five come on roll!’, from the accompanying sestude by Mandy Lee

For the full evocative experience, you can see the chosen objects alongside the writings on display at the Museum of Childhood until April 10th 2016.

It’s a Merry Knitted Christmas at Wester Hailes Library

tree1Wester Hailes Library’s ‘Knit & Natter’ group have truly embraced the festive season by producing a fabulous knitted tree, complete with knitted crackers, baubles and Christmas puddings.

The group started work on this masterpiece last year, but have gradually added more woollen ‘leaves’ and decorations, to make it bigger & better than ever!

tree2

Wester Hailes ‘Knit & Natter’ meet at the Library on fortnightly Wednesdays, 2-4pm.  All knitters & crochet-ers, from beginners to experts, are welcome.  You can bring your own project to work on, or join together knitting for charities: the group have contributed to causes including disaster relief, soldiers’ welfare and local emergency midwives.

tree3

On alternate weeks, the fun and friendly Games Club (fortnightly Wednesdays, 2-4pm) offers a selection of old and new board-games to enjoy: from traditional dominoes and Scrabble, to modern classics like Taxi & Pass the Bomb!  Teas, coffees and biscuits are provided free of charge.

There’s also have a Colouring Group for adults on Wednesday evenings, 6:30-7:30pm.  This craze has been gaining international popularity, with colouring-in books climbing up the best-seller lists, and it’s recognised as a relaxing and therapeutic activity.  Try your hand at some of the beautiful and intricate designs!

Several Edinburgh Libraries run similar knitting and craft groups for adults.  Why not enquire at your local branch, or check their web page.

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

knitted treeThe wonderful ladies who attend Wester Hailes Library Knitting Group have been working hard again, this time they have produced a magnificent 7ft (!)  knitted Christmas tree including decorations.

The group of 15 ladies have been working on the project since the summer and have knitted over 300 green squares all of different shades and styles to give the tree more texture. They then knitted/crafted Christmas Crackers, Candy Canes and Baubles to adorn the tree, not to mention various small trees that have been dotted around the library.

knitted treeThe building of the tree took place in the library this week and after the grand unveiling, the staff and the community are delighted by the results, with almost every person coming in the door stopping dead in their tracks to admire the groups handiwork. The only disappointed people have been the nursery visit from Juniper Green Nursery who wanted to pull the crackers!

The tree will be in the library until the 6th of January so please come along and see it.

Christmas in Theatreland

Christmas gives theatres the chance to glam up with exotic costumes and colourful sets. For a short period only, we are showcasing these Christmas productions in a series of displays in the Central Library. With the help of the Royal Lyceum and Edinburgh‘s Museums & GalleriesKing’s Theatre collection we highlight the various strands that go into a successful Christmas show. Items from our own theatre archive complete the cast.It's at Central Library!

Showing in Central Library over the festive season – catch it while you can!

The countdown to Christmas continues…

Portobello Library’s Chatterbooks group for younger readers celebrated their last meeting of the year in their unique style. If you are the kind of person who enjoys dressing your pet up in festive attire there’s still time to enter Leith Library’s Festive Furballs competition. Entrants so far include a dead badger and an axolotl. Beat that!

Continue the yuletide pets theme maybe with a viewing of The Christmas Bunny or one of our other seasonal DVD picks.

Get rockin’ around the Christmas tree with the best in festive music from the absolutely enormous selection of Christmas sheet music available from the music library. There are seasonal CDs aplenty as well –  everything from indie hero Sufjan Stevens’ 5 disc box set of Christmas songs to Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band’s Carols and Capers – a very up tempo English folk treatment full of boars heads, mummers and sweet mulled wine. Christmas Star by the Cambridge Singers and Orchestra is a fascinating mix of standards and more unusual songs from all over the world, or there are of course always the old favourites.

Alternatively you can of course retreat from it all and escape with the help of a good book. There’s an avalanche of ‘Best of..’ book lists around this time of year so we’re especially grateful to our chums at the Scottish Book trust who put together this very helpful Best of the ‘best of’ lists.

Finally, another reminder of when libraries are closed and open over the next couple of weeks. Merry Christmas everyone!