I have to confess that I walked past the National Library pretty much every day for ten years before I went inside – I had no idea what I was missing out on!
It may seem pretty obvious what the building holds but as well as being the largest library in Scotland they also host a range of exhibitions relating to their collections, and all of them are free!
At the moment there’s an exhibition on the Scottish Enlightenment: this is a period of the 18th and 19th centuries where Scotland was known for intellectual and scientific achievements. It’s the time period where famous Scots like David Hume (philosopher), Adam Smith (economist who wrote “The Wealth of Nations”) and Robert Burns (our national poet who wrote “Auld Lang Syne”) were active.
My favourite bit of the library though is their events. They cover a wide range of topics, some tie into the exhibitions on the go and others to various history months or topical events. I love getting to hear experts discuss their chosen topics and learning a little bit more about history or current affairs.
There is also a great wee café and book shop inside to take a break after exploring the exhibitions.
The Library is just off the Royal Mile, so most visitors, like I used to, wander right past without realising the treats contained inside.