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Law and printing in Scotland – an exhibition


I was asked to email this out to members of the SLLG last week, and thought it was interesting enough to share:



The Advocates Library’s exhibition highlighting the link between the Scottish printing trade and the practice of law in Scotland will be on show in Parliament Hall, Edinburgh, from 11 August until 27 September 2008, Monday to Friday, 9am until 4.30pm. 
With the kind permission of the Lord President, the exhibition will be open to the public and will form part of the Scottish Courts programme of events in Parliament House for Doors Open Day, 27th September 2008. 
Examples from the library’s unique 18th century collections of printed Session Papers will be displayed in addition to other items from the Library’s extensive collections.  Session Papers are documents used in the presentation of cases in the Court of Session, Scotland’s supreme civil court.  The papers often include non-legal documentary exhibits such as drawings, plans and maps.  As such, the papers give a valuable insight into the social, economic, political and legal history of Scotland, during the period of the Scottish Enlightenment, many of the notable figures of which were advocates, like James Boswell and Walter Scott.
Early collections of Scottish Acts and laws from the time of the first Scottish parliament illustrate the importance of printing to the practice of law. 
The Advocates Library, inaugurated in 1689, had the right of legal deposit until the formation of the National Library of Scotland in 1925.  At that time, the Faculty of Advocates donated its non-legal collections to the nation.  This long history and their close connection with the courts meant that advocates and the Advocates Library provided much work for the printing industry.  The exhibition highlights the closeness of this link, telling the story of Thomas Ruddiman who was Keeper of the Advocates Library and a printer.
Any parties of over 20 people wishing to view the exhibition should arrange their visit in advance with Andrea Longson, Senior Librarian, Tel. 0131 260 5637, email andrea.longson AT advocates.org.uk.

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