With a mass digitisation programme underway and the addition of non-print legal deposit and web archive collections, the NationalLibrary of Scotland is now both producing and collecting data at an unprecedented rate, with over 5PB of storage in the Library’s data centres. As well as the opportunities to support large scale analysis of the collections, this also presents new challenges around data management, storage, rights, formats, skills and access. Furthermore, by assuming the role of both (...) creators and collectors, libraries face broader questions about the concepts of ‘collections' and ‘heritage', and the ethical implications of collecting practices. While the ‘collections as data’ movement has encouraged cultural heritage organisations to present collections in machine-readable formats, new services, processes and tools also need to be established to enable these emerging forms of research, and new modes of working need to be established to take into account an increasing need for transparency around the creation and presentation of digital collections. This commentary explores the NationalLibrary of Scotland's new digital scholarship service, the implications of this new activity and the obstacles that libraries encounter when navigating a world of Big Data. (shrink)
The four volumes of Neil Ker's Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries were published by Oxford University Press between 1969 and 1992. They comprise a catalogue of about 3,000 manuscripts in Latin and Western European vernaculars in hitherto uncatalogued or inadequately catalogued institutional collections in the United Kingdom and form a major research tool for humanist scholars. The index volume, produced under the direction of A. G. Watson, a former pupil of Ker's and now his literary executor, and I. C. Cunningham, (...) formerly Keeper of Manuscripts in the NationalLibrary of Scotland, provides a variety of indexes, including authors/titles; owners; geographical origins and dates of manuscripts; vernacular manuscripts; Latin and vernacular incipits; manuscripts cited; repertories cited; and iconography. There are also lists of recent accessions to libraries and of manuscripts that have migrated from one institution to another. (shrink)
This paper discusses the chemistry manuscript collection in an institution that does not readily come to mind when searching for unpublished matter on the history of chemistry, the NationalLibrary of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. This collection includes personal papers of some twentieth-century American chemists and biochemists, lecture notes of British and American chemistry courses of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries from a variety of institutional settings, and extended oral histories of some major figures in the history (...) of modern chemistry and biochemistry. Among those represented in this collection are Joseph Black, Louis Pasteur, George B. Wood, Donald D. Van Slyke, and Albert Szent-Györgyi. In addition to illustrating the type of resources available, this paper also suggests some specific ways in which the collection can contribute to research in the history of chemistry. (shrink)
In this contribution, we will discuss the opportunities and challenges arising from memory institutions' need to redefine their archival strategies for contemporary collecting in a world of big data. We will reflect on this topic by critically examining the case study of the UK Web Archive, which is made up of the six UK Legal Deposit Libraries: the British Library, NationalLibrary of Scotland, NationalLibrary of Wales, Bodleian Libraries Oxford, Cambridge University Library (...) and Trinity College Dublin. The UK Web Archive aims to archive, preserve and give access to the UK web space. This is achieved through an annual domain crawl, first undertaken in 2013, in addition to more frequent crawls of key websites and specially curated collections which date back as far as 2005. These collections reflect important aspects of British culture and events that shape society. This commentary will explore a number of questions including: what heritage is captured and what heritage is instead neglected by the UK Web archive? What heritage is created in the form of new data and what are its properties? What are the ethical issues that memory institutions face when developing these web archiving practices? What transformations are required to overcome such challenges and what institutional futures can we envisage? (shrink)
The article gives an owerviev of the large collection of Wittgenstein originals kept in the Austrian NationalLibrary, which contains manuscripts like Mss 105, 106, 107, 112, 113 and 142, typescripts like Tss 203 and 204 letters and other documents like correspondence and photos of the Wittgenstein family.
Summary When Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo was preparing his An Account of the Life and Writings of James Beattie (1806) for the press, he asked his friend Dugald Stewart to contribute a summary and assessment of the argument of Beattie's most famous philosophical work, the Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth (1770). After some delay, in late 1805 or early 1806 Stewart sent to Forbes a lengthy letter in which he criticised Beattie's appeal to the principles of (...) common sense and contrasted Beattie's writings with those of Stewart's mentor, Thomas Reid. In the end, Forbes published only brief excerpts from Stewart's letter in the Life of Beattie. This article publishes for the first time a complete transcription of the extant manuscript of Stewart's letter to Forbes, which is on deposit in the Fettercairn Papers in the NationalLibrary of Scotland. (shrink)
I was a Leverhulme visiting fellow at the University of St Andrews in 2012–13 when James Harris was working on Hume: An Intellectual Biography. At the time, I expected his book to take decades to finish due to the daunting nature of the task. During those years there were periods when we sat daily discussing Hume at the NationalLibrary of Scotland and its near vicinity. As a result of those conversations, we also wrote and published an (...) article about Hume in the Scottish context.1 I look back to those days with warmth. I wanted to say this to point out that I am not impartial towards Harris, who I consider a friend, nevertheless, I am not responsible for what is advanced in James's book, and thus I can comment on... (shrink)