John Murray Archive
National Library of Scotland
Client: National Library of Scotland.
Exhibition Design by Event Communications
Winner of the Lighting Design Awards Best Public Building 2008
Lighting at the John Murray Archive creates a dynamic and theatrical setting to enable the presentation and interpretation of archive material.
Atmospheric lighting evokes the world of a Victorian drawing room, where visitors can interactively illuminate the manuscripts and private letters on display.
Selective use of LED fittings, fibre optics and digital festoon allowed complex looks to be achieved on budget. A lighting control system, triggered by touch screen interpretive panels, allows each display case to show different lighting scenes.
Lighting is key both to the enjoyment of the exhibition and the longevity of the exhibited items. The conservators love the lighting design, as the manuscripts are in relative darkness when not being viewed. Light levels are exactly recalled when the lights are engaged, to predefined maximum lux levels.
Each showcase is designed to be flexible so that the objects on display can be changed and the contents of the archive rotated. The library staff have successfully swapped exhibits and re-lit the displays without the need to recall outside consultants.