The NLS Digital Archive

I thought that I should post an update on the blog to let everyone know that we’ve just put the link up on the main NLS site to the Digital Archive. Its been a long time coming, but thanks to the efforts of the team, I’m very pleased that its now up and available.

The public version of the Digital Archive only contains images and metadata specifically created for online public display – and is a refined subset of the wider Digital Object Database (the DOD) at the NLS, which is in itself an overall record of all NLS digitisation work. 

We have an ongoing programme of assurance work which will steadily increase the volume of resources available in the Digital Archive.

There are some great resources in there already, comprising around 10,000 images and its growing steadily. Some highlights include

The Gutenberg Bible

The first book printed with moveable type. Printed in Mainz, Germany, around 1455 by Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of printing, and Johannes Fust. One of around only 20 complete copies to survive out of the original 180. Two volumes. Also known as ‘The 42-line Bible’ or ‘The Mazarine Bible’.

Soviet Posters

The Woodburn Collection of around 70 posters issued between 1919 and 1930. A few relate to the Russian Civil War, but most deal with economic and social issues of the 1920s. Brought back from the Soviet Union by Scottish Labour MP Arthur Woodburn after his visit there in 1932.
First World War Official Photographs

Black-and-white photographs mainly of the Western Front during the First World War. Official British war photographers took many of them for propaganda purposes. Unless otherwise stated, titles are the photographs’ original captions. From the papers of Field Marshal (Earl) Haig (1861-1928). The Haig Papers also contain Douglas Haig’s diaries.

The Aberdeen  Breviary

Prepared and edited by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen. Printed in Edinburgh in 1510 on Scotland’s first press set up by Walter Chepman and Androw Myllar. The largest product of that press. Two volumes, entitled ‘Pars hiemalis’ and ‘Pars aestivalis’. The whole breviary is also known as ‘Breviarium Aberdonense’.


We hope you enjoy browsing the resources – you can view complete books and other printed texts page by page, together with photographs, posters, maps and drawings.  Much more will be added, in due course, so watch this space!



3 Responses

  1. Great to see this go live at last! Congrats, all.

  2. Wow, this looks great. Well done!

  3. I know this is trivial, but I love the choice of header background images i can select to personalise the page. Great simple idea, well executed.

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