Culture at home

Culture @ Home

We have highlighted a wealth of resources covering a variety of topics to interest culture vultures in lockdown.

General Resources

We have a range of online resources and magazines to help you explore art, music, history and so much more!

In light of widespread library closures due to coronavirus,the Living Knowledge Network has a temporary curated archive programme of past events which have previously been livestreamed to the Mitchell Library. We hope to keep you entertained and inspired and to remind everyone of the special place libraries have in our communities. Once lockdown is lifted you will be able to enjoy livestreamed events in libraries again!

BBC's Culture in Quarantine is the homepage for Arts on the BBC with film, features and events showcasing the arts in the UK and beyond.

Creative Scotland’s The Future will be Livestreamed highlights key cultural resources which can be used whilst we all stay home. Updated regularly and includes key hashtags to follow for events online as they happen.

Visit OpenLearn from the Open University, for courses on everything from literature to politics, art to law.  Find over 2,500 free courses from founded by MIT and Harvard

Getting Musical

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Did you know The Mitchell Library has an extensive music collection includng acess to Freegal, magazines and online resources?  

Find out how musicians turn the notation of a musical score into a memorable performance. Understanding Musical Scores will change how you listen to music with this free course from Future Learn in partnership with The Open University.  

Scotland’s musicians have been doing their best to entertain the locked-down nation from their living rooms, and you may already have heard of the #CovidCeilidh phenomenon, which has made headlines worldwide. Tunes In The Hoose brings together over 80 videos created by Scottish musicians during lockdown. 
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland have established RCS at Home to give a platform for their creative and collaborative community to come together and share, discuss, engage, learn, create and laugh. New content added regularly.

Perhaps Covid 19 has inspired you to take up song writing and How to Write Your First Song is a practical introduction to the mechanics of songwriting with this free online course from Future Learn, in association with the University of Sheffield.

For classical music buffs, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra have a series of Friday Night Concerts while Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s twitter stream is packed with clips of orchestra members staging impromptu performances in their kitchens and living rooms. Meanwhile, Live Music Now Scotland has commissioned a series of Covid-19-at-home concerts, including performances especially for older people in care homes and some for children.

If you’re a fan of the opera, Scottish Opera is the one for you. A love song from Glasgow has a selection of pieces. Their Opera Highlights tour, normally takies opera out on the road to get as close to as many people in Scotland as they can but this summer, you don't even have to leave your house...

And if you and your family/friends are keen to create music but have no instruments, don’t miss the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s brilliant YouTube video demonstrating how to create a samba band from pots, pans and colanders. It’s a culinary gem. If you prefer to try your hand (well, your vocals) at beat-boxing, celebrated Glasgow beat-boxer and Tramway performer Bigg Taj has created this helpful online tutorial especially for the isolation era.




Discover the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive from home


You can watch thousands of films at home, for free, through the Moving Image Archive catalogue. Search or browse 125 years of Scotland’s screen history captured by amateur and professional film-makers.  Armchair travel through your favourite places in Scotland, learn through documentaries or keep everyone entertained with a family-friendly adventure. There are also lesson plans based around material in the archive that can be used by anyone teaching remotely or looking for home school activities. Older children can explore the Scots language by watching the films in this lesson about Robert Burns. The @nlskelvinhall Twitter provides regular #FilmFriday content – highlighting a few titles on a theme each week. If anyone gets stuck using the catalogue, or would like some help exploring the collections please get in touch.


Get Writing


The Mitchell Library’s Robert Burns Collection is one of the largest, most wide-ranging and growing collections of books on Burns in the world.  Learn more about the man and his works with the free online course Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy from Future Learn in partnership with the University of Glasgow.

Introduction to Screenwriting This course explores the key concepts and fundamental principles involved in the process of screenwriting. Free course from Future Learn in partnership with the University of East Anglia.

Start Writing Fiction  will get you started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters, with this free course from Future Learn, in partnership with the Open University.

We have a wide selection of online resources that can help you on your writing journey and newspapers  and magazines can be a source of inspiration or research.

The Scottish Book Trust has a host of resources including resources to help your creative writing


Art in lockdown

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Cathedral Square, Barony Church and Royal Infirmary by Robert Carrick, c1852


Learn more about our art & design collections while in lockdown or if you want to visit art galleries around the world the Guardian suggest the following top 10

The Guggenheim Museum in New York has just made more than 200 books about modern art available online. Not only can you read them online, but you can download them in PDF or ePub formats—for free—at the Internet Archive.

Grayson Perry’s Art Club  sees Grayson talk to artists, creative, celebrities and viewers about art and lockdown and if you would like to find out more about artists our online resources can help.

Our top picks include:
Drawing Nature an introductory art class to help you see and interpret the world around you like an illustrator 




There are 6 shakespeare plays available from the Royal Shakespeare Society. To explore more about Shakespeare we have a number of resources including Gale Literature and Oxford Reference

Curated by the Makar, the National Poet for Scotland, Jackie Kay, Makar To Makar will showcase a dazzling line-up of established talent and emerging voices.

The National Theatre of Scotland has a host of content available to watch performances from recent and past productions


Govan on the Clyde by William Simpson, c1842


Learn about Scotland’s relationship with transatlantic slavery through the collections of Glasgow Museums, the City Archives and the Mitchell’s Special Collections. Legacies of Slavery aims to explore the ways in which items from the collections can shine a light on Glasgow’s relationship with transatlantic slavery during the 17th to 19th centuries.

Dig into Scotland's History with the Moving Image Archive from the National Library of Scotland

Paintings in Glasgow Libraries

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Stephen Mitchell unknown artist, Mitchell Library


View the paintings in our Image Gallery

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