Sepia Saturday – Library

The inspiration for this week’s Sepia Saturday post is “Library”.  I’m not a big borrower of books for casual reading,  but I AM a huge fan of reference libraries – the ones where you can go and look up all sorts of weird and wonderful facts.  I know, it all sounds horribly dull, but really it isn’t.  Honestly 🙂

Near to where I live, we have lots of exciting places to look up interesting stuff, the Loanhead Archives Centre is a mine of information on Midlothian ancestors, although housed in a rather uninspiring 1960’s building and now bursting to overflowing.

East Lothian Archives Centre moved at the end of March to a fabulous new building in Haddington, the John Gray Centre – very “old building meets steel and glass” and bears absolutely no comparison the their previous billet.  It was requiring modernisation and updating, shall we say 🙂  Now they are state of the art!

There is also the rather posh National Library of Scotland, which has an amazing amount of original manuscripts and obscure records…

My most-used “library” is a series of rather ordinary book cases containing very valuable, and often one-off unpublished books relating to Scottish genealogy.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the book cases because they are so ordinary that it never occurred to me to take one, however they are housed in the Dundas Search Room of New Register House in Edinburgh.  When you visit Register House, you are led through a series of search rooms, where members of the public can research their family histories and professional Scottish genealogists work.  The first room that you come to is known as the “Adam Room” on account of the fabulous Adam design.

I asked permission to lie on the newly-laid plush carpet and take a photo with my phone (and it was laughingly granted) so I did.  If you don’t ask, you don’t get, as my Granny used to say.  Yes, they all laughed at me 🙂

You can read more about the historical Adam Dome if you wish, but I warn you, if you are ever in Edinburgh and fancy tracing your family history, the ceiling will be a major distraction.  Here are a few more photos I took on my phone (the poor quality is due to me holding a cup of coffee and a slice of cake as well as the phone) during the launch of the 1911 Census – the reception was held in the Adam Dome and the staff dressed up in period costume.  Not in the least bit stuffy!

Sheila – our Blue Lady – check out all the Registers in the bookshelves, they go around the entire circular room.

Linda, Blair and Susan all out of uniform and togged up in period gear 🙂

And finally, the statue of King George III set in an alcove, which creeps me out because if you are the last to leave and the emergency lighting is on (or it is winter and there is a full moon coming through the dome) he glows in the dark.  He was found during renovations in a rather sorry state, blackened and covered in a green lichen growth.  He was sculpted in alabaster by the niece of the first Registrar General for Scotland and first placed in position in 1791.

I always say goodnight to him to keep on his good side.  Check out other Saturday Sepians’ interpretations of “Library”, and come and join in if you feel inspired, there is a new theme every week, and your photos don’t have to be sepia.


PS:  For a Scottish Library blog with a HUGE sense of humour, check out Orkney Library and Archives Blog.  I defy you not to subscribe – so funny!

About Jo Graham

Scottish genealogist - this blog is for my own family history and photos
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10 Responses to Sepia Saturday – Library

  1. postcardy says:

    King George looks kind of ghostly.

  2. Wendy says:

    I know I should focus on those wonderful libraries, but I’m just smitten with that rotunda roof!

  3. Bob Scotney says:

    Thanks for this tour. The buildings tell a story of their own. In our recent library modernisation the reference library is parked in a small side room and the contents dumbed down much to my disgust. The large area it occupied before has become a computer suite and a Starbooks(!) cafe.
    That dome is superb – no amount fancy glass could every replace it.

  4. Alan Burnett says:

    You made me feel as if you were giving me a personal tour around your favourite library – a wonderful experience. I share your love of reference libraries and one had a job where the only office they could find for me was in the back room of a reference library. I, of course, never got any real work done – too busy reading the stock!

  5. Little Nell says:

    You’re very brave to be the last one before the lights go out; even the magnet of all those books wouldn’t be enough. That roof is gorgeous so I can see why you risked being mocked to get the pic – well done!

  6. Nice tour- and he does look a bit ghostly!

  7. I think I’d stay well clear of Mad King George too.

  8. beeskneesdaily says:

    Enjoyed your post, especially the picture of the domed roof and the story about the statue. How cool that King George glows in the dark!

  9. WOW! This is really cool; I enjoyed it very much. How neat that you have so many places to help you in your research.

    Kathy M.

  10. TICKLEBEAR says:

    Those inlays in the Adam dome, are they Wedgewood?
    They look like it.
    Give my greetings to George!!
    I’d like to be on his good side too!!
    Fie sculpture, if you ask me.

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