City’s historic images get a psychedelic makeover in Grassmarket’s free open-air art exhibition

The Greater Grassmarket BID has teamed up with local graphic artist Johnny Dodds and Capital Collections to launch a free open-air Art Gallery this September. Explore Edinburgh’s extraordinary history through a series of artworks that combine rare old photos from the collections of Edinburgh Libraries.

Photographs of hokey pokey man

 

See the city’s past, its people, places and city life through a psychedelic prism of colour and vibrancy. A unique, contemporary glimpse into Edinburgh’s past in a way you’ve never seen it before.

Photogrpahs of Lamplighter Victoria Terrace

 

Visit the free open-air walking art exhibition in the Greater Grassmarket area from 4th – 30th September and view all the images on Capital Collections.

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Switch energy supplier – online workshop

Changeworks is an organisation which informs and enables householders to live in affordably warm homes. Advisors will be at Central Library, George IV Bridge on Wednesday 13 September from 2 – 4pm to show you how to better manage your gas and electricity costs online.

In this interactive workshop you will:

  • find out about cheaper tariffs and discounts
  • learn how to compare prices of different suppliers
  • learn how to choose a new supplier
  • gain confidence in using supplier websites

If you have a mobile computing device bring it along and get help straightaway but, even if you don’t, we will have laptops on which to show you what you can do

BRING YOUR BILLS AND SEE HOW MUCH YOU CAN SAVE!

New Digital Help partnership with Edinburgh University

Central Library will be hosting a new digital ‘drop-in’ service in partnership with Edinburgh University on Friday afternoons. Beginning on September 8th a group of students will be available to help you with your technology problems be they on laptop, tablet or smartphone. Bring along your device and sort out the issues or problems you are having whether it is perhaps some basics like how to get onto and search the internet, how to set up an email address or perhaps a more specific issue with how your device or a particular app works. The ‘drop-in’ will take place each Friday at the George Washington Browne Room from 1.30 – 4pm. Come along, get that technology headache fixed and have a cup of tea and a biscuit while you are in!

Bedtime Stories

This August, Sighthill Library has the privilege of hosting the Bedtime Stories Quilt, on loan from the Museum of Childhood.

The quilt was part of a Bedtime Stories exhibition and was created by 60 adults and children from all over the UK. The patchwork features familiar story-time favourites alongside squares inspired by personal memories. More information on the quilt can be found on the Museum’s blog and you can find out more about the Museum of Childhood on their website.


The quilt is on display alongside some of the stories that inspired it, so come along and have a look, before it goes on tour to other libraries in the city including Stockbridge, Fountainbridge, Wester Hailes, Newington and Balgreen.

 

 

All the world’s a stage – 70 years of Edinburgh festivals

In 1947, Sir John Falconer, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, spoke of his ambition that the International Festival of Music and Drama should provide “a platform of the flowering of the human spirit”.

The first Edinburgh International Festival programme 1947

This year (2017) sees the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Fringe. In 1947, eight uninvited theatre groups turned up at the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival. With the ‘official’ festival using the city’s major venues, these groups took advantage of the large assembled theatre crowds to showcase their own alternative theatre. Although at the time it was not recognised as such, this was the first Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Map of major venues 1947

The EIF has played host to many international stars over its 70 years. Maria Callas performed in the King’s Theatre in 1957 and Rudolf Nureyev first appeared at the festival in 1984 dancing in a production of ‘Swan Lake’ at the Playhouse Theatre. In 1965 Marlene Dietrich performed, singing a collection of late night cabaret songs at the Lyceum assisted by an orchestra conducted by Burt Bacharach.

Harmonium Project, opening the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival

Many of today’s well known faces have launched their careers at either the Festival or Fringe. Alan Bennett, Dudley Moore, Peter Cook and Jonathan Miller appeared in Beyond the Fringe in 1960. Billy Connolly appeared in The Great Northern Welly Boot Show in 1972. Rowan Atkinson took a break from his engineering degree in 1976 to perform alongside Richard Curtis for the Oxford Review. In 1981 Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry were members of The Cambridge Footlights who won the first Perrier Award (now Edinburgh Comedy Award) and in 2001 Eddie Redmayne appeared as the MC in Cabaret.

Street performer at Parliament Square, 2015

If you want to get a real taste of what’s happening during the festivals, take a stroll – though it may take some time – down the High Street and to The Mound where you will be able to see Fringe groups, buskers and street performers. You might even be “persuaded” to join in!

Street performer on High Street, 2015

The Edinburgh Festivals continue to go from strength to strength. In 2016 the combined ticket sales of both the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival reached 2,915,143.

Find many more great pictures of our festival city on Capital Collections including our collection of Edinburgh International Festival programme covers.

A Woman’s Place art exhibition

This month’s exhibition in the Art & Design Library is by Julie Galante and is entitled     A Woman’s Place: an exploration of home and belonging.

Julie is a painter and mixed-media artist based in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. Her artwork focuses on people and places real and imagined. As someone who has lived in several different countries, she is particularly intrigued by the ways in which one’s location can affect a person’s inner and outer life.

The exhibition works started out as a study of the relationships between people and places: how one’s location and proximity to other people affects one’s mental state and well-being. The themes and subjects have grown and developed with the events of the past year. Julie explained to where the inspiration for her work had come from –

“The power of groups of women became evident to me in the women’s marches taking place all over the world, as well as in the close-knit group of female friends who supported me through my husband’s leukemia diagnosis and treatment. His death in April of this year left me reeling, person-less and place-less. Much of the artwork I have created since then is an exploration of my new role of young widow. And finally, many of the pieces in this exhibition celebrate Edinburgh, the city in which I know I belong. There is very little certainty in my life right now, but one thing I know for sure is that this city is my home”.

A Woman’s Place can be viewed within the Art & Design Library, Central Library from   2 – 30 August.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

It’s hard to believe, but its 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was published. On 26 June 2017 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone celebrates its 20th anniversary, having sold over 450 million copies worldwide in 79 languages. We would like you to join us in celebrating this special occasion!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone eBook will be available for unlimited access through our OverDrive ebook service between 26 June and 9 July. Everyone will be able to borrow the title simultaneously during this period with no reservations required.

All seven Harry Potter books are available on our OverDrive site in both ebook and audiobook format. You’ll also find spin-off titles such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and The Hogwarts Collection. So why not re-read these special books or get hooked on Harry for the first time!