We spoke to Dr Anette Hagan, Rare Books Curator (for early printed collections to 1700) from the National Library of Scotland about what makes libraries still relevant in a contemporary society, their value for the community, and why literacy is still important today.
Libraries have been cultural hubs for centuries, but with the shift toward digital publishing, the conversation has shifted to their relevance, or assertions of their waning relevance, in a digital age. However, according to Elen Haf Jones from the National Library of Wales, while the library has evolved, it holds its place as a ‘valued cultural institution that serves as the memory of a nation’.
A treasure trove of manuscripts in Europeana Collections has lain unloved for too long. Through Europeana Manuscripts, we’ll start bringing out the best of this content and celebrating the work of the experts and institutions who are working to preserve and digitise the textual heritage that reflects our history.
The project Rise of literacy will look at the use of written text in Europe over centuries (from the sixth to the twentieth century) and tell users the story of the rise of literacy in European culture, as a manifestation of a European-wide cultural movement.