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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A New (Beta) Interface for the UK Web Archive

At our last SWOP meeting Eilidh MacGlone (National Library of Scotland( gave a short presentation of this new interface.  I am reposting the information below from the OfficialpapersUK blog.

Please send your feedback to the BL as requested below.

The UK Web Archive has a new user interface! Please try it and give us your feedback by completing the short survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ukwasurvey01 . There are several new features:

  • For the first time you can search both the ‘Open UK Web Archive’” and the ‘Legal Deposit Web Archive’ from the same search box. The Open UK Web Archive was started in 2005 and comprises approximately 15,000 websites that can be viewed anywhere. The Legal Deposit Web Archive was started in 2013 and comprises millions of websites but these can only be viewed in the Reading Rooms of UK Legal Deposit Libraries.
  • We have improved the search and have included faceting so that it’s easier to find what you are looking for
  • A simple, clean design that (hopefully) allows the content to be the focus
  • Easily browsable ‘Special Collections’ (curated groups of websites on a theme, topic or event, including Brexit, the EU Referendum and the 2015 and 2017 General Elections)

Jennie Grimshaw, British Library