Music in the National Library of Scotland

By Boehme, Almut | Fontes Artis Musicae, July-September 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Music in the National Library of Scotland


Boehme, Almut, Fontes Artis Musicae


Brief historical overview

The National Library of Scotland (NLS) (2) is one of the earliest and largest legal deposit libraries in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland (3), and the largest research library in Scotland. While its history dates back to the beginnings of the Library of the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh of 1689, NLS was founded as a national library in 1925. It is in an unusual position as a national library of a devolved (4) 'nation' within a larger country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Historically Scotland has been an independent country with very different legal and education systems and a distinctive culture. With the union of the crowns in 1603, James VI of Scotland became James I of England, the two countries sharing one king over the following century. Through the Act of Union in 1707 they became one country, though Scotland held on to its separate structures, especially in the legal and education systems. The Queen Anne Act (5) of 1710 gave nine libraries the right to acquire a free copy of all print publications. Five of the nine were Scottish: the Library of the Faculty of Advocates (now National Library of Scotland) and the four universities in Scotland (St. Andrews, Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Edinburgh). The remaining four libraries were English: the British Museum (now British Library), Oxford and Cambridge University libraries, and the Library of Sion College, London. In 1801, Trinity College Dublin received rights to Legal Deposit following the Act of Union connecting Ireland and Great Britain. This right remained after the Republic of Ireland was established in 1922. In 1911, when a new legal deposit act came into force, the National Library of Wales was founded and received legal deposit status. Today there are six legal deposit libraries in the UK and Ireland receiving print and some electronic publications published or issued in the two countries: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Cambridge University Library, the British Library, National Library of Wales, National Library of Scotland, and Trinity College Dublin. The National Library of Ireland was initially established by the Dublin Science Museum Act 1877 becoming an autonomous cultural institution in 2005 under the National Cultural Institution Act, 1997. (6) Its rights are restricted to the receipt of publications issued in the Republic of Ireland. The right to legal deposit differs slightly between the British Library and the other legal deposit libraries: the former has an automatic right to a free copy whereas the other libraries have a right to claim a free copy within 12 months of publication. Today the other five deposit libraries employ an agency, the Agency for Legal Deposit Libraries, to administer claiming and distribution on their behalf.

Later developments to note are the legal deposit extension to electronic publications and discussions on extension to online publications. Sound recordings are still explicitly excluded from legal deposit legislation.

The role of the National Library of Scotland

The role of the National Library of Scotland today is summarised in its mission statement: (7)

* Enrich lives and communities

* Encourage and promote lifelong learning, research and scholarship

*Provide universal access to information by comprehensively collecting and making available the recorded knowledge of Scotland

* Promote access to the ideas and cultures of the world.

The Library is open to anyone who cannot access material elsewhere and its user base has widened considerably over past decades so that it now ranges from schoolchildren to pensioners and from personal researchers to academic scholars.

NLS's unusual position due to Scotland's devolved status frequently raises the question whether it is more akin to a national library of a small country or the state or regional library of a large country.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Music in the National Library of Scotland
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?