Engraving of a young Mary, 1558

Two-day window to see MQS treasures

Mary, Queen of Scots enthusiasts will have the chance to view rare material from the National Library of Scotland’s collections on the anniversary of her execution next weekend (Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February).

Also coinciding with the Mary, Queen of Scots film which is now on release, the exhibit will explore depictions of Mary Stuart through the ages – from the lavish engravings of a Mary Queen of Scots themed masked ball in 1820s France to 20th and 21st-century film scripts and ephemera.

Visitors will also be able to get up close to an early charter with Mary’s Great Seal, Mary Stuart's childhood correspondence with her mother, Mary of Guise, and a letter to the French ambassador in England written in the early days of her captivity.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said:

“This exhibit – which brings together Mary Queen of Scots items that have never before been seen together – shows that she was as much a household name during her lifetime as she is now.

“Highlights will undoubtedly be Mary Stuart’s handwritten letters which are held in the Library’s collections – opportunities to see treasures like these are almost as rare as the items themselves.”

Other items on display will include a detailed series of melodramatic engravings from 1791 depicting Mary, Queen of Scots’ execution, as well as a digitised presentation of her Last Letter complete with translation and interpretation.

The exhibit will take place at National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February, from 10:00–16:00. Entry is free.

Contact Information

Barbara Burke

National Library of Scotland

+44131 623 3738

+447904 791002


Notes to editors

The National Library of Scotland has several hundred rare books and manuscripts relating to Mary Queen of Scots.

The National Library is a major European research library and one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Scotland and the Scots – an information treasure trove for Scotland’s knowledge, history and culture.

The Library holds more than 29 million physical items dating back over 1000 years in addition to a growing library of e-books, e-journals and other digital material. Every week the Library collects around 3,000 new items. Most of these are received free of charge in terms of Legal Deposit legislation.

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