The National Library of Scotland: what’s in it for you?

Originally posted on the Local Government Information Unit Scotland Blog

As an information service, LGiU Scotland is committed to maximising access to quality information for those working in local government – even if it’s not directly from us! LGiU Scotland’s Hannah Muirhead met up with Fiona Laing, Official Publications Curator at the National Library of Scotland, to explore how elected members and others working in local government might benefit from the library’s vast and quite underused information archive.

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Although it may look like a solid block of stone from the outside, the National Library of Scotland is one of the most extraordinary buildings in Scotland. Behind those walls is a gateway to 120 miles of shelves which store 30 million items. What this means is that it is extremely unlikely that the library can’t be useful to you in some way. Whether you are trying to understand a historic policy change, get to grips with something scientific, economic, environmental, cultural, or political; or find out more about a local area, community, industry, or hobby – there’s probably something at the National Library of Scotland that will be of use.

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State Papers online now available from the National Library of Scotland

If you are resident in Scotland you can apply for a reader’s card online to gain access to this digital manuscript database covering 200 years of British history, from the reign of Henry VIII to the end of the reign of Queen Anne, describing both domestic and overseas activity and events. This resource contains over 3 million manuscript pages and over 500,000 fully searchable calendar and catalogue entries, with links between the two types of document when they are related. The resource also includes introductory essays, research tools, and an image library.

 

Explore the amazing resources at the National Library of Scotland at Kelvin Hall

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If you haven’t been to the National Library of Scotland’s new premises at Kelvin Hall it is certainly worth a visit for the Moving Image archive alone.

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However, as well as  film, Kelvin Hall opens up access to ALL of the National Library of Scotland’s  electronic legal deposit material.  This includes journal articles, e-books and archived websites.

Content which the UK’s legal deposit libraries can harvest via the UK Web domain crawl includes millions of sites from the ‘.uk’ domain and a great many from other UK-based domans, such as ‘.scot’ or ‘.london’.

View and search UK content from the web using the Legal deposit UK Web Archive access tool available at the National Library of Scotland.

Social media content, such as from Twitter and Facebook, is part of the legislation, and therefore legal deposit libraries can collect them too.

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Electronic legal deposit material is available via the main catalogue. For access to journal articles, choose the ‘e-articles (legal deposit)’ option from the ‘quick limits’ dropdown menu. Other legal deposit material is indicated by a prompt in the catalogue record for each item asking you to accept the legal deposit terms of access and use.

You dont need a library card to access all of these resources so just walk in and explore these resources for yourself.