Recording history today for the future

Central Library’s Edinburgh and Scottish Collection have a long history of collecting material relating to the changing life and times of the city.

Today, we also collect digital submissions from people who can upload their own pictures and memories to Edinburgh Collected, our online community archive (

During these strange times of lockdown living we are asking the public to help us record the visual signs of how life in Edinburgh has changed so that these momentous times are preserved for history.

Saturday at the Grassmarket, shared by Sufly9 on

We’re particularly keen to see the little acts of creativity and messages of thanks and positivity that are helping us all to keep smiling.

We’ve received some lovely picture memories so far but we’d like to capture a complete picture of Edinburgh at this time. Do you have any photos of your neighbourhood that you’ve taken whilst out for your daily exercise or going to the supermarket that you could share?

Anyone can create an account and add pictures and memories to Edinburgh Collected. Once added, we’ll add your contributions to the ‘Edinburgh 2020 – coronavirus pandemic’ scrapbook.

Stay home, shared on by jintyg

Our colleagues in Museums and Galleries and in the City Archives are also collecting material related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Museums and Galleries Edinburgh are looking to collect objects for their museum collections which represent experiences of people in Edinburgh during the pandemic. They’re hoping for donations of everyday objects that have helped you get through the lockdown, e.g. certain equipment you’ve used to keep you safe, a note from your neighbour or the rainbow you made for your window.

If you have something to offer, please email Explain what the item is, what it means to you, and include a photo if you can. (Please note, staff won’t be able to physically collect any material until it is safe to do so and venues reopen.)

Edinburgh City Archives are collecting diaries and journals covering this period. They will collect these in various forms; whether that is paper or digital, text or audio-visual, published on a website/social media or kept privately in an app, book, or document.  If you keep any of these and would be willing to donate it to the Archives for posterity please visit their webpage for more information:

Seven uses for your library card besides borrowing books


Could you be getting more from your library card?

Here are seven things that magic little piece of plastic entitles you to – and they are all wonderfully FREE:

1. Download free emagazines and newspapers with PressReader and Zinio

2. Read scholarly journals with Access to Research

3. Get help setting up a new business using the COBRA database

4. Trace your family tree with Ancestry

5. Get book recommendations from a real life librarian

6. Stream music with Naxos

7. Take a mock driving theory test with Theory Test Pro

How do you use yours?







What you researched at the library

Access to Research logoOne of the (numerous) benefits of library membership is being able to log on to Access to Research.

In case you haven’t heard of it, Access to Research gives free access to over 10 million academic articles – the kind of material that was formerly only available to academics, students and those who could afford the prohibitive subscription costs.

Access to Research is only available in UK public libraries, and we’re delighted to report that levels of use within Edinburgh Libraries puts us in the top ten nationally.

So what do people use Access to Research for? We recently got our hands on this list of 20 of the most used search terms. We wanted to share these with you to give you an idea of the breadth of material available, and get a sense of how it’s being used.

Japanese knotweed
inclusive education in brazil
social worker
art history
compassion in nursing
Journal of small animal practice
“mental health support” and “general practice”
memantine and bipolar
treating cognitive impairment bipolar
blood donation
The Economic History Review
United Nation sanction on Iran journals
teaching maths systematic review
anthropology ghosts
medical ethics obligation on the battlefield

Want to know more? Start now by viewing which articles and journals are available from home, then visit your local library and ask a member of staff to log you on and get access to the full text of the articles you are interested in.


Did you know you can access an archive of articles from magazines like the New Yorker and Rolling Stone with your library card?

You can also browse through the last ten years of The Lancet or Nursing Standard; The Spectator, The Economist, National Geographic and many more.

Just log in to News UK using your library card number and unlock a wealth of world class writing from these internationally renowned publications.