Basic Site Details

Name: National Library of Scotland
City or county: Edinburgh
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: Sculptures by Hew Lorimer

Ministry's Superintending Senior Engineer(structural) : E.A MacKay
Ministry's Superintending Engineer(electrical and mechanical) : Mr D. Wilkie

Cost Approx 600,000

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Library  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1George IV BridgeYes 


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 1119241925 Scheme for new building - not carried out
Item 2 of 11May 1931  Fairlie selected as architect
Item 3 of 1119361955Build/construction 
Item 4 of 11May 1936  Sketch plans approved by the Royal Fine Art Commission
Item 5 of 11November 1937 Build/constructionWork begun on site
Item 6 of 111939 Build/constructionWork suspended at beginning of war
Item 7 of 111947 Build/constructionWork recommenced after war
Item 8 of 111951  Main constructive work begun
Item 9 of 1119511955Completion 
Item 10 of 111952  A R Conlon tto complete drawings after death of Fairlie
Item 11 of 11After 195 AdditionExtensions


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 11Andrew MerryleesArchitectG  Extensions
Item 2 of 11H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)Architectural practiceD19241925Unexecuted scheme for new building - J Wilson Paterson as architect for Scotland
Item 3 of 11John Wilson PatersonArchitectD19241925Unexecuted scheme for new building - as architect for Scotland in H M Office of Works
Item 4 of 11Charles William GrayArchitectA19361939Chief of Staff for Reginald Fairlie during this project
Item 5 of 11Reginald Francis Joseph FairlieArchitectA19361952Completed by A R Conlon
Item 6 of 11Andrew A MacCullochArchitectCc. 1937 Involved with Marwick drawings
Item 7 of 11Thomas Waller MarwickArchitectCc. 1937 Site plan with levels of library, etc
Item 8 of 11H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)Architectural practiceE1940 Further involvement?
Item 9 of 11John Wilson PatersonArchitectE1940 Further involvement?
Item 10 of 11Alexander Ritchie ConlonArchitectB19501955Completed work begun by Reginald F J Fairlie. Alos responsible for design of large window - extecuted by Helen Turner
Item 11 of 11Stewart SimArchitectL1952 To supervise construction


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 5Brown, Iain Gordon1989Building for Books: The Architectural Evolution of the Advocates' Library, 1689-1925 Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press 
Item 2 of 5Gifford, John, McWilliam, Colin and Walker, David M1984Edinburgh (The Buildings of Scotland) Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltdp184
Item 3 of 5Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp162
Item 4 of 5Nuttgens, Patrick1959Reginald Fairlie 1883-1952: A Scottish Architect Edinburgh: Oliver & BoydPlates 43-8
Item 5 of 5Scottish Civic Trust1983Historic Buildings at Work: a guide to the historic buildings of Scotland used by Central Government Scottish Civic Trust/Property Services Agency, Department of the Environmentp103

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Architect and Building News1934Jan-June p174
Item 2 of 4Architect and Building News1940Jan-Jun p170
Item 3 of 4BuilderEarly 1934CXLVI p200
Item 4 of 4BuilderLate 1936CLI pp60-61, 60-71 (Design approved by the Royal Fine Art Commission)

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 5Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register27684 
Item 2 of 5National Library of ScotlandReginald Fairlie MS Bound Photocopies 1933-55 MSS A1-47 (NB Sir James West gave advice as did George Washingon Browne who advised widening pilasters, letter 31 October 1935; also advised pushing pylons back almost flush with pilasters
Item 3 of 5National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSIan G Lindsay Collection IGL W718/3
Item 4 of 5RIAS Collection, NMRS, RCAHMSRIAS Drawings Collection Photo of drawing
Item 5 of 5RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers Charles William Gray: F no5460 (combined box 80)


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