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If you need more reasons to follow us @natlibscot (and explore our collections) we give you this – a little thread of shiny facts about our Library.

First up: our collections. We have more than 30 million physical and digital items in our collections. When you add subscription items that registered readers can view (many of which can be viewed at home), this jumps to over 76 million items.

Which is a lot.

Search our catalogue if you don't believe us > search.nls.uk

The oldest #Scottish books in our collections are those printed by Walter Chepman and Androw Myllar in 1508 > digital.nls.uk/firstscottishb…

In contrast, our newest item came in about two minutes ago*


*On average we get a new item every two minutes, which works out as about 5,000 new items every week 😍
The smallest book in our collections is this 1985 edition of 'Old King Cole', which measures a tiny 1mm x 1mm. At the time it was printed it was the world's smallest litho-printed book.

(It's that yellow speck inside the black circle, in case you were wondering)

At the other end of the scale the largest printed item we hold measures 5ft x 7ft when open and weighs 133lbs (9½ stone or 60kg!). It’s called 'Bhutan, a visual odyssey across the last Himalayan kingdom' and is printed only on demand.

Now let's talk about shelves... we have nearly 200 kilometres (120 miles) of shelving in our buildings – that’s longer than the distance from #Edinburgh to #Inverness.

We're a Legal Deposit Library – which means we can request a copy of any publication (including websites!) published in the UK and Ireland. This is quite an amazing thing.

Our sister Legal Deposit libraries are @britishlibrary @bodleianlibs, @NLWales, @theUL & @tcdlibrary (which is in Ireland but also has the right to request anything published in the UK). They are all fab (but don't tell them we said that 😉)

By virtue of the amount of items we continually ingest, we are #Scotland's largest library for many different types of items. (e.g. we are Scotland’s largest collection of cookery books – and will be for some thyme yet).

And we also have more than 800 books on #quilting. Yes - quilting.

We received over 2.5 million collection items during the 1980s alone. We Just. Can't. Get. Enough.

Our collections span every conceivable topic and thought, from Mesopotamia to peaceful uses for outer space.

The National Library building at George IV Bridge sits on the site of the former Edinburgh Sheriff Court House. So we really ARE the law. Remember that, readers.

#NLSgems @nls_reading @lostedinburgh
Our George IV Bridge building was designed by the architect Reginald Fairlie, but Fairlie never saw it completed – he died in 1952. Alexander Ritchie Conlon, a partner in Fairlie’s architectural practice, oversaw the final stages to opening in 1956.

Our Causewayside building is home to @natlibscotmaps and the majority of our physical collections. It was built on the site of the old Middlemass Biscuit Factory and we actually used the factory building for a while after they ceased biscuit production.

Indeed, our history is intrinsically linked with biscuits. The Library was established in 1925 by an Act of Parliament and a generous benefaction from Sir Alexander Grant, managing director of McVities Biscuits.

So we basically owe our existence to biscuits.

And we opened our fabulous new(ish) home in #Glasgow in 2016. Based at @KelvinHall16, our @nlskelvinhall facility is an awesome digital library which also houses our @scotsonscreen collections - check it out at nls.uk/using-the-libr…

Take a look at our departmental accounts, which regularly post about our wonderful collections and services > @natlibscotmaps @NLSlearn @nlsarchives @nlsrarebooks @nlskelvinhall @scotsonscreen @NLSColl_Care @nlsmodern @nls_reading and @NLS_Business

And we have a very busy events and workshops programme, with over 112 events held last year. The *vast* majority are completely free and bookable online. Which is good.

Find out more > nls.uk/whats-on

Plus regular major exhibitions and pop-up displays, like the Gutenberg Bible display in November 2018 (pictured) and our current exhibition 'A Better World?' > nls.uk/exhibitions

(These are also completely *free*. Good, eh?)

Finally - if you ever urgently need to read up on aqueous solubility data, we have just the book*


* It's actually sitting on our General Reading Room shelves - just by the main stair on the first floor 😀
Thanks for reading our #NLSgems thread, everyone - we hope this has convinced you to at take a wee peek at our collections (and even better, to come say hello) > nls.uk
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