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Digital Library

Our collection of web features is still in its infancy, but will continue to grow as more and more of the outstanding resources held by the National Library of Scotland are digitised for viewing online. These features offer unique glimpses into a variety of chapters of Scotland's story.

Alexander Graham Bell New
Scottish Science Hall of Fame
Cast your vote to get Scotland's top science heroes from the past into our top 10!
  Map detail Maps
Further your family, local history or school project using this collection of thousands of zoomable maps of Scotland for the period 1560-1928.
Broadside detail The Word on the Street
Discover early news stories and ballads that informed and entertained Scots between 1650 and 1910 as you browse around 1,800 broadsides.
  Bagpiper Murthly Hours
View each page of this book of prayer dated 1280 – one of the most richly illustrated manuscripts in Scotland during the Middle Ages.
Photo of nurse Experiences of War
The nurse, the soldier and the general – three stories from the front and at home during the First World War. Features schools resources.
  Photo of building Pencils of Light
Delve into photographic history with 300 images taken in the 1840s by the Edinburgh Calotype Club – the world's first photography society.
Sample of text Scottish History in Print
Together with details of thousands of works published by historical clubs, two major Jacobite sources are online as keyword searchable files.
  Detail from Mylarr book First Scottish Books
See online, page by page, 'The Chepman and Myllar Prints' – nine of the earliest books printed in Scotland, in or around 1508.
Cartoon of Churchill Churchill: The Evidence
The life and times of Winston Churchill, MP for Dundee before he became a wartime Prime Minister. Features schools resources.
  Pirate illustration Robert Louis Stevenson
Letters, sketches and photographs illustrate our biography of story-teller and poet Robert Louis Stevenson, one of the 19th century's famous writers.
Manuscript detail The Auchinleck Manuscript
Middle English language and literature as Chaucer would have known it, contained in this rare document, with a full transcription.
  Robert Burns Robert Burns
The life, work and legacy of Scotland's Bard, together with fascinating detail about original material in the Library's collections.
Drawing of Edinburgh's Theatre Royal Playbills of the Theatre Royal Edinburgh
Find out about this important theatre in the 19th century by searching through our selection of playbills.
  Muriel Spark Muriel Spark
Using material from her personal archive, we tell the story of the life and career of Scotland's greatest living novelist, Dame Muriel Spark.
J K Rowling The Write Stuff
Modern Scottish writers – among them J K Rowling, Liz Lochhead and George Mackay Brown – through the lens of photographer Gordon Wright.
  Mary, Queen of Scots Mary, Queen of Scots
Read – in English and French – the last letter by Scotland's 16th-century queen, written only hours before her execution in Fotheringay Castle.
'The Broons', 1950 Scotland's Pages
Move along the timeline of key events in Scottish history, and discover along the way some of the 'treasures' held by the Library.
  Detail from a binding Scottish Bookbinding
Distinctive examples of bookbinding created in Scotland, from our pre-eminent collection of decorative bindings, which spans 500 years.

All images © National Library of Scotland