John Scally is the National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of Scotland, a major European research library and one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Scotland and the Scots. He was previously Deputy Head of Rare Books at the Library before becoming Director of University Collections and subsequently Director of Library and University Collections at the University of Edinburgh. He is a member of the British Library Advisory Council and a Board member of the Scottish Library Information Council. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge.
Dr Scally has a number of research interests, including book history, book illustration and early modern history with a particular focus on the 17th and 18th Century. He has published on a number of these topics, including a book on Robert Louis Stevenson’s illustrators, articles and book chapters on the Scottish Parliament before 1707 and the British Civil Wars of the 1640s. He has taught and guest lectured in a number of institutions and was involved in establishing the MSc in the History of the Book at the University of Edinburgh. The application of technology to humanities research and teaching is a growing interest. Currrently, the concept of the digital shift in libraries is a particular fascination and something that occasionally keeps him awake at night.