A first for ..

4th July 2008 at 01:00
From Bibles to The Beezer, dictionaries to demonology, Lanark to logarithms and from temperance to television, the printed word in Scotland has had a profound impact on every aspect of our nation's life over the last five centuries
From Bibles to The Beezer, dictionaries to demonology, Lanark to logarithms and from temperance to television, the printed word in Scotland has had a profound impact on every aspect of our nation's life over the last five centuries. A major new exhibition at the National Library of Scotland, Imprentit: 500 Years of the Scottish Printed Word, will offer visitors a rare chance to view some of the highlights from the library's vast collection of treasures.

From the earliest books from the presses of Chepman and Myllor in 1508, visitors can view a number of firsts: in politics, the first printed acts of the Scottish Parliament from as early as 1540, and the proclamation of its dissolution in 1707; from science, Napier's logarithms, Logie Baird's Televisor, and Hutton's theories which paved the way for Darwin and others.

There is also the first bible printed in Scotland, the first medical book, the first book written by a woman, the first historical novel, the first newspapers and the first ever Beezer annual.

Children's books from across the centuries, football and sci-fi fanzines and the runners and riders for the 1728 Leith Races are all there too.

The exhibition is part of a year-long nationwide celebration of 500 years of printing in Scotland which has seen a programme of events and exhibitions across the country. l www.500yearsofprinting.org.

NLS has also created a website charting the spread of printing throughout Scotland. This features digitised versions of the first items printed on the first presses from more than 30 locations across Scotland

- www.nls.ukprintingindex.cfm.

The exhibition will be supported by a summer-long programme of free events including talks on a wide range of subjects such as fanzines, print and politics, Scots language, Gaelic in print and a range of family events and learning workshops. Full details will be available shortly on

- www.nls.ukeventsindex.html.

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