The Leningrad Album
The history of the Leningrad Album is truly extraordinary.During the darkest days of the the Second World War, while the Siege of Leningrad was at its height, the women of Airdrie and Coatbridge created an album containing messages of support to their counterparts in Leningrad. Through some means it got through the blockade and two years later the women of Leningrad reciprocated, creating an album of thanks producing exquisite drawings of the city and photographs of everyday life in the city. It's difficult to imagine what a feat this was, given the horrendous conditions the women were living under. One story was that an artist could only be supplied with a reference work from the library early in the day - later the staff were too weak with hunger to climb the stairs to fetch it. I visited Leningrad (now St Petersburg) myself some years ago and was very moved by the stories and memorials of the Siege. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take direct photographs of the album today but some pictures along with a much fuller story of the album(s) is on the Scotiana website - I heartily recommend it.
Behind the Scenes
I've recently become quite a regular visitor to the Mitchell, mainly to the archives for family history research, so was delighted to see a bit more of the building. This included trips to the Burns Collection and Jeffrey Library and most exciting of all for us library geeks, visits to the stacks and the basements.
The next photo was taken a couple of months ago, of the old Science and Technology Reading Room, now a display space etc. during the George Wylie 'For the Burds' exhibition.
As always the greatest of thanks to Anabel Marsh, organiser extraordinaire!