Moving Image Archive tour and social, 21 August 2017


12-screen video wall, Steenbeck flatbed editor and SLLG members browsing film memorabilia

Last week, a group of SLLG members dandered along to Kelvin Hall, home of the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive since September 2016.

Following a £35 million refurbishment, Kelvin Hall reopened last year as one of the UK’s biggest museums and research centres, a project in joint partnership between Glasgow University, the Hunterian, Glasgow Museums, the National Library of Scotland and Glasgow City Council.

As well as hosting the Moving Image Archive, this interactive space allows visitors to access the National Library’s digital licensed collections including films, maps, books and manuscripts in electronic format.

Moving Image Archive

For those who are unfamiliar, the Archive, previously a department of the one-time Scottish Screen, has been part of the National Library of Scotland since 2007. Its main purpose is to collect, preserve and promote access to films capturing Scottish culture and history, from the early days of film-making to the present day. In addition, the Archive includes a wide range of manuscript, printed material and memorabilia (check out the Steenbeck) relating to the development of cinema exhibition and film production in Scotland since 1896.

Learning and outreach

Moving from the outskirts of Glasgow last year to this more prominent position in the West End, public engagement is high on the agenda with opportunities for further learning provided through screenings, workshops, projects and online resources such as Scotland on Screen.

The National Library at Kelvin Hall is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday, with Mondays and Wednesday mornings reserved for appointment-only visits by school classes and special-interest groups such as ours!

Learning and Outreach Officer, Sheena MacDougall, was our very knowledgeable guide for the afternoon. As a filmmaker herself, Sheena’s passion for the collections was clear and she deftly handled group members’ many and varied questions relating to acquisition, preservation and cataloguing of items, while providing us with opportunities to explore the interactive screens and exhibits.

Using footage

Of course, “us law librarians” were interested to learn about copyright policies and trends. Like other formats, much will depend on method of acquisition, whether they be home movies donated by family members or cellulose nitrate reels (saved from a closing picture house) awaiting spontaneous combustion in someone’s attic! For items in copyright, the Library doesn’t give permission directly but can, where possible, provide copyright holder contact details on a case-by-case basis.

Professional filmmakers may receive public investment on the proviso that content is made accessible by the Archive, either onsite only or remotely via the website. The Moving Image Archive catalogue includes copyright information, as well as filters such as “Video availability” allowing you to select content based on permissions. More information on using footage can be found on the Archive website, including how to obtain copies of films.

A sense of place

Other catalogue filters include year, place, subject and many more, providing a hook for people of all ages and backgrounds. SLLG members got stuck in browsing by familiar towns (Largs, Melrose…) and were transported to different places and times with folk doing the same old things: singing, chasing after balls and sailing doon the watter.

It’s easy to envisage public libraries, schools and community groups finding great uses for this national resource, especially considering that screen media is the dominant form of cultural communication in this country. Again, the Scotland on Screen website contains further information on moving image education (MIE), including tutorials on discussing and analysing films, as well as creating a moving image essay.

West End delights

I could go on and on about this treasure trove of film and video but we must move on, as we did down Argyle Street to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, BrewDog and finally Mother India restaurant (“Not the café!”) on Westminster Terrace.

It may be a cliché but Mother India is a Glasgow, and now Edinburgh, institution. What a treat to dine on delicious food and catch up with long-standing, new and returning members before dashing for the train back east.

Many thanks to all who helped to make the afternoon and evening a success.


Group winter social, 7th December 2016

Fun law badges sold at Avizandum

Held at Avizandum Law Bookshop in Edinburgh, an evening of informal networking with a mulled festive flavour was enjoyed by members last week. It drew our group’s 2016 events to a close in no little style.

Many thanks to Elizabeth, owner of Avizandum and member of the SLLG, for her generous hospitality once again.

This free, pop-in, event is well established in the SLLG schedule. It is always good to see “weel kenn’d” and new members (or new to this event) alike coming along for law librarian fellowship in this welcoming environment.

Conversations tend to flow in all directions and this year was no different. Information profession news was shared as well as topics discussed far removed from work, with much laughter included.

The 15 members attending were treated to an array of refreshments including tasty home bakes (thanks to Faye and Colin’s wife), mince pies, and Elizabeth’s fine mulled wine skillz.

We look forward to seeing you all next time!

Table set Avizandum December 2016

A most marvellous setting for a law librarian social evening. That is bottled water, not gin.


Group winter social, 3rd December 2015

Remember a simpler time. A time when Kanye West wasn’t having a Twitter row with Wiz Khalifa. A time before January. A time when the SLLG had their Winter Social at Avizandum Book shop.


It was the minutes before our festive social and all was quite, not even a mouse. Which was a shame because it would have really liked the cheese board.


The Avizandum Autumn social has been a fixed event in the SLLG calendar for a while now but we decided to shake things up by making it a festive winter event in 2015! So on Thursday 3rd December, we all congregated in Avizandum Law Bookshop to enjoy the usual wine and cheese and conversation, but with added festive treats.

There was a wintery chill in the air, but this was more or less unnoticed in light of the equally wintery torrential downpour. Fortunately, several SLLG members were prepared to brave the weather in exchange for a glass of mulled wine (or two) and a chocolate shiny gold coin!

The evening was filled with professional networking and socialising, plus some poorly-made Christmas crackers.

The SLLG would like to thank Elizabeth and the staff at Avizandum for their hospitality, and providing the food for the event. We look forward to seeing you all next year!


Thanks to Lissie for this report and also for her own excellent hosting and decorating skills at the event.



Avizandum autumn social: 6th November, 2014

Several members of the SLLG braved the outside evening chill to be rewarded with a warm welcome inside at Avizandum Law Bookshop.

We would like to once again thank Elizabeth and her staff at Avizandum for supplying the delicious food and for their excellent hosting of us.

Wine, cheese, fruit juice, savoury bites and chocolate biscuits complemented the professional networking and informal chatter throughout the evening. The event is special in the group calendar as it provides a purely social occasion for members to meet. The ‘pop-in’ style of the event, too, lends itself to flexibly fit in with member’s plans: allowing members to both come along when, and stay for as long as, they like. Happily, this is a semi-annual fixture of the SLLG year and we are already looking forward to the Spring version in 2015.

Refreshments at the Avizandum Autumn social event 2014

Refreshments at the Avizandum Autumn social event 2014