Digital content in the National Library of Scotland

Review of NLS Digital content event by Stephanie Longmuir, Information Specialist, NBS:

“I recently spent a fascinating afternoon at the National Library of Scotland (NLS), with a tour of the building, with behind the scenes access to the collections, reading rooms and a presentation about a digitisation project.

Fiona Laing, Curator of the Official Publications collection, started the tour off in the NLS exhibition space, currently highlighting their holdings and interesting items relating to plague in Scotland. The information walls also displayed statistics about how big the library is, what collections they have and what the type of material they cover. More information can be found here: http://www.nls.uk/collections

Tour pic exhibition area

It is staggering in comparison with our library which includes approximately 30, 000 items relating to the construction industry!

We then went behind the scenes to one of the floors to see examples of items readers may request to view, how they are stored, organised, reserved and distributed as well as learning about current security, safety and conservation measures in place. We also discovered more about the role of a legal deposit library and how the agents obtain items. It was astounding to think this vast space held only a fraction of the entire collection.  After this we headed back up to one of the meeting rooms to find out more about a digitisation project from Jan Usher, a Social Sciences Curator. This project aimed to digitise the House of Lords papers between 1806-2000. The project remit had undergone several stops and starts and changes along the way, but they are nearly there, with a soft launch imminent.

The final part of the afternoon was spent exploring the vast digital collections which are available on their website. Some of the resources are only available to those who have registered as a reader ticket and an address in Scotland, but there are several worth exploring which are available as open access resources.

The visit was very useful to gain an understanding of current issues facing legal deposit libraries, as well as collating digital publications and websites.”

Stephanie Longmuir,
Information Specialist, NBS

Stephanie is a chartered and revalidated librarian who works as an Information Specialist at RIBA Enterprises in Newcastle upon Tyne. She works as part of a team of technical editors for The Construction Information Service, a specialist subscription product for architects, engineers and other construction industry professionals. This product is run as a joint venture with IHS who is based in Bracknell.

This visit was organised on behalf of the CILIP Government Information Group

 

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