Read whilst you wrap!

Christmas is the perfect time to try audiobooks. Why you ask? Well, its hard to read when you are wrapping presents; cleaning the house for all the guests coming; cooking; decorating the tree etc. So why not listen to a book at the same time instead! We’ve got all sorts of genres to keep you amused –

Christmas titles

Bestselling fiction

Fascinating non-fiction

Autobiography

We’ve got four different downloadable audiobook services that you can use through apps or on your computer or MP3 player. You’ll find full user instructions on our Your Library.

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Green Pencil Award 2017

The tenth annual award ceremony for the City of Edinburgh Council creative writing competition, open to all P4 – P7 pupils in Edinburgh, took place in the Central Reference Library on the 30th November. The event was hosted by Councillor Alison Dickie, Vice-Convener of Education, Children and Families and was attended by the 20 finalists along with their families and teachers.

Green Pencil Award Finalists

The Green Pencil Award aims to promote literacy, in particular reading and creative writing. It also helps raise awareness and encourages learning about important environmental topics. This year’s theme was ’Edinburgh’s Natural Heritage’ and over 800 entries were received from P4-7 pupils across the city on a range of topics from Edinburgh Castle to Portobello Beach.

Prizes were donated by our sponsors, including the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Scottish Book Trust, Dynamic Earth, National Trust for Scotland, Royal Scottish Zoological Society and Camera Obscura.

This year’s overall winner was Chrissie Clark from Edinburgh Academy for her poem ‘The Three Bridges’.

Green Pencil Award winner Chrissie Clark receives this year’s award from Councillor Alison Dickie

The judges commented, “What really struck us was the topical subject of Chrissie’s poem. Some of us may have walked across the Queensferry Crossing in its inaugural weekend, and been amazed by the wonderful feat of engineering that it represents, and the beautiful sight of the three bridges. Chrissie cleverly managed to weave in her own, very personal impression of the bridges, and rounded off a nicely structured piece of work with a satisfying and humorous conclusion”.

All the winning entries are published in a brochure which will sent to all schools who took part.

Christmas magazine editions

The brilliant thing about Christmas is that most of us get a chance to sit down and put our feet up for a bit! If you can’t stand watching yet another Christmas movie then why not do a bit of digital magazine reading instead.

RBdigital magazines has a fantastic collection of Christmas magazine editions for you to overindulge in – the perfect thing to sit and read with a hot chocolate or mulled wine. And the best thing is they are completely free so you can still treat yourself even if you’ve got no money left after Christmas shopping!

Plan some Christmas meals with festive cooking magazine editions Get some decorating ideas with Christmas homes magazines

Plan that party outfit

Enjoy some beautiful reads

RBdigital is available to use through an app on your tablet or phone or on your computer. Full user instructions can be found on our Your Library website.

Calling concert programmes!

The Music Library has an enviable collection of programmes and ephemera from music festivals, competitions and concerts, providing a snapshot of Edinburgh’s rich concert going and music making, from the early 1800s to the very recent past. Many of our concert programmes are available to view on Capital Collections.

Sir Harry Lauder headlines the Grand Scottish Concert on 23 February 1940.

We collect programmes, handbills and flyers to record as much of Edinburgh’s rich musical life as we can. We are unable to collect our programmes digitally, so we ask you, each time your group performs during the year, to deposit a programme and some handbills with the Music Library for our collection.

Concert programmes can provide a rich source of historical information on musical taste and the wealth of musical participation by both professional and amateur groups. Contribute to our archive and 50 years from now your programmes could be a valuable resource for researchers!

A 2001 programme for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra

If you are involved in more than one choir or orchestra, please pass on the word that we wish to find a home for their programmes, and, because we have gaps in our collection, we would love to be offered back copies of your groups’ programmes. Or, if you have a growing archive, which is perhaps growing too large for your premises, we would happily consider housing it within our collection.

For more information on donating material, email central.music.library@edinburgh.gov.uk, phone 0131 242 8050 or drop into the Music Library.

Art Library exhibition for December 2017

The Art and Design Library’s new exhibition ‘Inscape’, is a joint exhibition by three artists, Frieda Dyson, Fiona McLachlan Powell and Clive McLachlan Powell

Here we hand over to the artists to tell us about their work.

Frieda Dyson writes:

`Born in Glasgow, and with a background which is half Hebridean, water in all its moods, has always featured large in my work. I have painted roaring water in the Western Isles, and calm, building reflected water in Cambridge, where I lived for many years, but it is always a challenge. Watercolour, acrylics, oils and dry pastels all have their different difficulties. Recently, trees have figured in my work since I have been spending time in Edinburgh’s wonderful Botanic Gardens. My work is in various collections in the UK and, also Australia, New Zealand, Cyprus and the USA.’

 

Fiona McLachlan Powell writes:

`My work explores thresholds through my experience of mental health and also in the contexts of philosophy and culture. Sometimes the materials I use are domestic or tied in with labour. I grew up in a farmworking family near Duns in the Scottish borders. The rhythm to the days and seasons in that life and its improvisations influence my work and my way of working.  The hessian my shepherd grandfather used as a kirtle to protect him from the rain, transcends its initial use.

Working in the disciplines of sculpture, photography, film, drawing and installation I like to create a sense of journey through liminal space and approaching thresholds. I explore thresholds through process and through experimenting with various materials that spoke to me in the past and that I respond to now.

I have come to a way of creating sculptural work that can be dismantled then reconstructed, and reconfigured. I place my work in different environments; in woodland or architectural spaces for dialogue, each location transforms the work’.

 

Clive McLachlan Powell writes

`My work lies between sound, form and place; bringing transforming elements of materials, sound and gesture into space to explore the liminal. This transformation reflects a somatic experience, the feeling of sound beyond what is heard through the ears alone. Ways of making include creative foraging, casting as a way of transforming materiality, drawing with objects, photography and film. Other methods include singing of archaic songs, using my skull as an aeolian resonator, and placing contemporary sound composition alongside collaborative improvisation with dancers. I like to feel the spaces where I work – art spaces, nature, dance clubs become welcoming, finding still points in sounding and moving forms alongside the sonorous’.

Come and see this fantastic new exhibition of art work on show in the Art and Design Library from 2 to 29 December.

A nourishing read!

Earlier this year the Scottish Book Trust asked people to put pen to paper and write down their memories and thoughts on the theme of ‘Nourish’. Whether it was about growing your own, howking tatties, creative cooking, sharing a poke of chips or a celebratory feast, they wanted to know what fueled your body and mind.

The result of this quest is a brilliant book of reminiscences and musings that is now available to download for free from our OverDrive ebook service. This book has been released as part of Book Week Scotland 2017. There’s a couple of submissions from well known foodies Dave Myers and Mary Contini, but a wealth of contributions from Scottish people from all walks of life, sharing with you their stories of food’s contribution to their family, childhood, community, travel experiences and self-discovery.

Download it today (best enjoyed with a nice cuppa and a dunkable biscuit!).

 

Elsie Maud Inglis, (1864–1917)

26 November 2017 marks the 100th Anniversary of the death of one of Scotland’s most famous doctors and founder of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, Elsie Inglis.

Dr Elsie Inglis

Elsie Maud Inglis was born in India on 16 August 1864 where her father was employed in the Indian Civil Service. When he retired they returned to their former home where Elsie studied in the Edinburgh School of Medicine. After qualifying she worked in London returning to Edinburgh in 1894 where she established a medical practice with a fellow female physician. In 1904, she set up a small maternity hospital in the High Street staffed entirely by women.

For many years Inglis had been a member of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies and in 1906 she launched the Scottish Suffrage Federation.

When war broke out in August 1914, the people of Britain responded. Men volunteered for the army and others set about establishing relief units to help the army or provide assistance to civilians and refugees. The Scottish Women’s Hospitals were one of those – yet they were also very different, because they were set up with two specific aims: to help the war effort by providing medical assistance, and to promote the cause of women’s rights and by their involvement in the war, help win those rights.

Dr Elsie Inglis – Serbia

She set up a field hospital in Serbia, where she was captured by Austrian forces in 1915, but released after the intervention of the US. On returning to the UK she raised funds for a hospital for Serbian forces in Russia and went there in 1916, but she became ill and died of cancer on her return to Britain in 1917.

Dr Elsie Inglis and “Matie”

In one of these Serbia units was nursing orderly Ethel Moir, who served 2 tours of duty as part of the SWH. As noted in one of 3 volumes of diaries and photographs in our collections and written a few months after her death, we can see how proud and honored she was to serve “The Chief” :

“Dr Elsie Inglis and some of us”

“A red-letter day in the history of the S.W.H. – & especially in the history of “The Elsie Inglis Unit”. How proud we were of our dear old Chief, as the King told us of his admiration for her, oh, to have her with us now! We carry her name forever with us & may we carry it nobly & may we work as she would have us work & do, may “The Elsie Inglis Unit”, prove itself worthy of the noble name it bears”.

To read more about Ethel Moir and her time serving in the Scottish Women’s Hospital, catch up with our earlier posts:

There’s a Long Long Trail A-Winding (part 1)

There’s a Long Long Trail A-Winding (part 2)

There’s a Long Long Trail A-Winding (part 3)

Our Search for Ethel (part 4)

Scottish Women’s Hospitals (part 5)