Edinburgh Napier University

Month: September 2023

Get Moving and Study Better!

Get Moving and Study Better

Tips for helping your body be healthier as you study.

Whether it’s studying, working, or watching a screen. We all need to move more. Finding clever small changes is a great way to sneak a little more health into our daily lives.

Things like stand-up desks are a great idea but they can be expensive and large. Try fitting one of them in your Halls room. Below we’ve come up with a few easy, cheap or free alternatives.

Sitting on the Floor

This is an easy one, why not try sitting on the floor? If you’re streaming, reading, or even just scrolling pop yourself down on the floor instead of a chair. New research says that it can be very beneficial to do this for just a short period a day.

Make sure you use a good position though, cross-legged, Z-sit or Long sit to make sure your posture is correct. This article from Healthline can give you some good floor-sitting tips.

You can read more on the science in articles like: “A Comparison Study on the Change in Lumbar Lordosis When Standing, Sitting on a Chair, and Sitting on the Floor in Normal Individuals”, available through our Library catalogue LibrarySearch

Recording and Walking

Why not record your study notes on your phone, pop in some earphones and go for a walk. Research says the best way to study is to use multiple formats. It’s called multimodal learning! Multimodal learning incorporates visual, auditory, reading and writing and kinesthetic

So don’t just write them down but speak your notes aloud. By recording them and listening back as you walk, your body and your brain will be working. You could even drift off to sleep listening to them and let your unconscious soak them in as you sleep.

Read more on SpringerLink in this research paper called Multimodal Learning by Dominic Massaro.


So, this one needs to be done separately from studying but the science says it can really help you actually study better. So even if you schedule a few short meditation breaks into your day you could see improvements. To get yourself moving why not try a walking meditation?

There is a study called: “Effects of a Mindfulness Meditation Course on Learning and Cognitive Performance among University Students in Taiwan” available through LibrarySearch. The study found meditation significantly improved memory performance. So why not give it a try?

Here’s a free 10-minute walking meditation on Soundcloud.

Just Move!

Fidget, wiggle your toes, or sway to some music. Any movement is good! Why not stop and do 10 jumping jacks or some squats? Put on your favourite song and dance! Getting the blood pumping around your body is an excellent way to stimulate your mind!

Read more on health and well-being in some of our other articles:

Stress Awareness Month

January and Wellbeing

By Juliet Kinsey

Image Source: Image by Anna Lysenko from Pixabay


Unveiling History: Opening Merchiston Tower for Doors Open Days 2023

Hertiage Collection banner

Unveiling History: Opening Merchiston Tower for Doors Open Days 2023

Doors Open Days, the annual celebration of Scotland’s rich architectural heritage, is back in 2023 with a remarkable addition to its lineup – the historic Merchiston Tower in Edinburgh. This iconic structure, nestled in the heart of Edinburg Napier University’s Marchiston Campus, will swing its doors wide open to the public, offering a rare opportunity to step back in time and explore its captivating history.

History Of Merchiston Tower

Merchiston Tower, formally part of Merchiston Castle, is a splendid example of Scottish Baronial architecture. Dating back to the 15th century, it stands as a testament to the enduring allure of ancient Scottish castles. The tower was originally constructed as a grand residence for the Napier family, whose most famous member, John Napier, invented logarithms and contributed significantly to the development of modern mathematics.

As you step into Merchiston Tower, you’ll be transported through time to a bygone era. The interior boasts an enchanting blend of historical elements and modern-day conservation efforts. You can marvel at the intricately decorated ceilings, wood-panelled rooms, and original architectural features.

Merchiston Tower 2023

Beyond the historical significance, Merchiston Tower continues to play a vital role in contemporary Edinburgh. It serves as the main building for Napier University, contributing to the education and development of future generations. Doors Open Days 2023 not only invites you to explore the past but also celebrate the present and envision the future.

Visiting Merchiston Tower during Doors Open Days 2023 is an opportunity to connect with Scotland’s history, culture, and architectural heritage. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture buff, or simply curious about the stories hidden within these ancient walls, this event promises an unforgettable experience.

So, mark your calendars and be prepared to be enchanted by the timeless charm of Merchiston Tower. Doors Open Days 2023 promises to be an unforgettable journey through Scotland’s rich heritage, and Merchiston Tower is undoubtedly one of its crown jewels. Don’t miss your chance to step into the past and discover the magic of this historic landmark.

Read all about Open Day and other events happening in Scotland

And you can read a little more about the history of Merchiston Campus 

By Ian Sudlow-Mackay

Library FAQ part one: Library Spaces and books

Library Spaces and books


Welcome and Welcome back.

It’s good to see everyone back on campus. And we thought it would be a good idea to go over some Frequently Asked Questions. Today we will be covering the library spaces and most importantly library books. And of course, if you want to find out any more information, check out our library webpages.

Library Spaces

Three campuses mean three campus libraries. You can find out the opening hours and much more information on our web pages. The libraries are similar. All have relaxation spaces, wellbeing collections, silent study spaces, Lapsafe lockers, printers and study rooms. And don’t forget our library help desks where our friendly staff are there to help with any library enquiry. The libraries particularly with the book stock match what courses are taught at that campus. Sighthill covers Applied Science, Health and Social Care, Craiglockhart covers law and business and Merchiston covers computing, engineering, built environment and creative arts.

We like to think that our library spaces are safe and inclusive for all our staff and students. However, if you think anything can be improved, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at library@napier.ac.uk


Oh books, don’t think it’s an overestimation by saying books are crucial to any library. We have thousands upon thousands of them. You can borrow up to 30 books at a time, and loan periods are 4 months. All books are 7 days but they renew automatically every 7 days up to 4 months, you don’t need to do anything, they simply renew themselves. But please look out for your emails as other students can request books and you will then need to bring them back.

Finding books at Napier is simple. We have LibrarySearch. You can find this on myNapier dashboard or our web pages. Even googling Napier Library Search is fine. And if you are actually at the libraries, we have dedicated computers for Library Search.  You can search book titles and authors, or if you don’t really have a clue about what you are looking for, you can simply use keywords for your research. Here it will you where the books are, what campus or they might be even online. If that is the case, make sure you are signed in. Follow the links and you will get there.  But if it is s physical book you have, LibrarySearch will tell you where to find it. Once you have it, use one of our self-issue machines to issue it or bring it to the help desk.

Stay tune this afternoon for part two of Library FAQ



If you have anymore questions, please get in contact or read our previous library posts 

Library FAQ part two: Lapsafe laptops and MFDs

The Library FAQ part two: Lapsafe laptops and MFDs


Welcome back to Library FAQ part two: Lapsafe laptops and MFDs

Lapsafe Laptops

Each Library campus, the JKCC and Bainfield Accodomation have Lapsafe lockers which is a self-service laptop borrowing service. All you need is your student card to scan. Lockers have been updated over the summer so if you don’t have your physical student card, you can use the digital version on your phone.  Lapsafe Lockers have an easy access option if you need further help, please ask at the help desks.  Laptop loans are 14-days and unfortunately, we can’t extend the loan period. However, once you return your laptop you can take another one straight afterwards.  Please, don’t save any of your work to the laptop as it won’t be saved.

You can read more about our laptop loan guidance, availability and how to use the Lapsafe Lockers.

If you need a long-term laptop, there is a Digital Access Scheme.


Moving on to the next technology, printers or as some may call them MFDs (Multi-Function Devices). All libraries and computer suites have MFDs that can print, scan and copy. You need to have print credit on your account which is all managed on the Edinburgh Napier app.  

You can print from any PC or Mac on campus or use your personal device. It doesn’t matter what printer you use on campus, they are all on the same network so you can use any. And all work is kept for 24 hours so you don’t have to print straight away. Once you have sent your work to the printer simply tap your student card, if you have forgotten, there is a keyboard button and log in with your Napier email and password.

To scan or copy, it is the same login as printing then you select what you would like to do. Photocopying is the same price as printing, scanning does not cost but there needs to be credit on your account. Find out more information here including printing/photocopying prices.

For dissertation or specialised printing, please contact the Print Hub 

And for more library information, look at our previous blog posts 

Uncovering Hidden Histories: Provenance research internships in the Edward Clark Collection

Uncovering Hidden Histories: Provenance research internships in the Edward Clark Collection

During July, the University’s Heritage Collections department hosted two student interns whose intrepid research skills greatly helped us to find information about past owners, donors and custodians of the rare books held within the Edward Clark Collection. Here, Wik Lyszczarz (MSc in Publishing) talks about their experience of their internship.

The internship with special collections Edward Clark Collection was very fascinating. I started this internship not knowing anything about the Edward Clark Collection within the University the whole time I have been here. Now that the internship is over, I have learned much about the collection and what it holds. I am grateful to know what all this time was hidden.

I entered this internship as a Master’s publishing student, and the thought of looking at books to see whose hands they have passed through was exciting. While looking through them, I could satisfy my publishing interests by looking at how the manuscripts and books were printed and bound.

We got to work after being trained on how to handle old books. Looking for provenance marks turned out to be a lot of fun, especially when you find something of note, the most exciting being names that we could research in the second half of the internship. However, the thing that has stuck with me most is that even though the books I looked at were printed from as early as the 12th century till the 16th century, during a time when the printing process was much more complicated, the books were more intricate. As someone who likes visual additions to manuscripts, there were many present in the multitude of manuscripts I was able to look through.

Here are some pictures of the exciting things I found, visual aspects of the manuscripts I liked, and some I would bring back to the publishing world today.


[Figure 1: Bookplate of Ernst Conrad Stahl (ECC B41).]

This image above features an Ex Libris insert that a previous reader put into this book. I found many of these within the books; they were handy when looking for people’s names, as the purpose is to show who the book belongs to. Most of the designs of these bookplates change depending on the owner; this one was my favourite as it is very intricate. This is something I would definitely bring back into use.


[Figure 2: Detail of a manicule in the Nuremberg Chronicle (ECC A18, fol. LXXIr).]

One thing I learned during this internship is that the hand in the image above is called a manicule. Manicules are a mark that has the appearance of a hand, one that is pointing. These used to be drawn by the reader to point out important parts of the text.

[Figure 3: Composition of illustrated initials, showing an illuminated ‘B’ (ECC A15, fol. 6r), a decorated ‘C’ (ECC A24, fol. 5v), and a woodcut of the letter ‘M’ (ECC B36, fol. 4r).]

Here are different types of letter embellishments. The first embellishment is an image of an illuminated letter; these embellishments were not typical in the books I went through. These make the manuscript feel a lot more luxurious and the colours used were very eye catching. The second embellishment is created by hand with ink. Each one of these varied within the manuscript this was due to them being hand drawn. Some manuscripts only used red ink as a secondary colour, whereas this one shown used both red and blue. This was a common practice; printing the actual text in black ink and then using red ink to highlight the beginnings of paragraphs, drop capitals and even the start and end of sentences. Lastly, the last embellishment is part of the printing process and has no colour, out of all of these it is not as eye cathcing, yet these can be very detailed. These tend to be the same design throughout the manuscript, however the design changes manuscript to manuscript.


[Figure 4: Calendar for the month of May (ECC B45).]

This is another thing I found out whilst doing this internship. The image above shows text with a border. The purpose of this border was not only for it to look good; in reality, it could also be so that people would be refrained from making annotations and notes about the text. These borders often feature in religious manuscripts.


[Figure 5: Press stamp (ECC B42).]

This image is of a printing press stamp, which shows you which old printer this manuscript was produced by. Not many of the books I looked at included these. The ones that were included always drew me in. Their design varies depending on the printer, some more intricate than others.

Another aspect of the internship I found informative was the second part. In the second part, we had to look up and research the numerous names we found throughout the books. Some of these names lead to nowhere, some names were misspelt or just didn’t have anyone they lead to. But some lead to some interesting people that were popular and known about in the past. A couple of these lead me down a rabbit hole. If I did not do this internship, I would have no idea that these people existed and what they did to become known.

I have really enjoyed my placement with special collections and the Edward Clark Collection and all the new things I learned and all the people I got to research. I will however be disappointed when I open my next book and there is a lack of quirks and stories to be found.

Further reading

You can read more about the university’s Heritage collections or read previous blog posts

By Wik Lyszczarz

Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl is the best-known 20th-century author for his imagination and children’s stories such as Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, James, and the Giant Peach. Although, they are not your typical children’s books and can often take twists and turns with dark humour.

But did you know that James and the Giant Peach originally started off with a cherry?


Roald Dahl always had a spirit for adventure and even became an aircraftman in 1939 for the Royal Air Force. This inspired some of the characters and locations, like his family home in Buckinghamshire.

Dahl depicts heroic and villain protagonists from The Witches to Mr and Mrs Twit, to Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They are brought to life with humorous vocabulary that turns them into mischievous characters. Dahl played around with new words and names such as the Oompa-Lumpas featured in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Not only did Roald Dahl write children’s books, but between also wrote gruesome adult fiction; Sometime Never, Pig and Tales of the Unexpected!


But have you ever wondered who also illustrates the characters in the books?

Sir Quentin Blake is an illustrator and is most known for illustrating Roald Dahl’s stories. His first illustration was for Punch magazine before designing children’s books. Blake worked with Dahl in the 1970s and illustrated the Enormous Crocodile.

For Roald Dahl’s stories, Blake uses black ink and a fountain pen to create scratchy, inky and blotted designs. He usually begins with a gesture or facial expression like this example of the Charlie, the lucky finder of the golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:



Charlie and the golden ticket. Illustration by Quentin Blake.

Charlie and the golden ticket. Illustration by Quentin Blake.


You can find more about Roald Dahl’s work available in the library’s Box of Broadcasts:



You can find the ebook here:



We even have a Spanish adaptation on DVD of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp!




Image of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory DVD starring Johnny Depp in Spanish, available at Merchiston Library.

Image of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory DVD starring Johnny Depp in Spanish, available at Merchiston Library.


Get involved in Roald Dahl’s Children’s Charity:



Other links:

Roald Dahl Day


Library Relaxation Spaces

Library Relaxation Spaces

Physical relaxation Spaces

We know University life is devoted to study and learning, but we also want you to feel relaxed and comfortable every time you enter our libraries.  It’s essential to take time out, de-stress, and give yourself a break from your studies. Looking after your mental and physical well-being is crucial to your success at university.

With that in mind, we hope you’ll feel welcome in our relaxation spaces. These are small colourful areas we’ve designed for you to sit back, and enjoy the benefits of natural light and soft seating.

Each of our three campus libraries has its own dedicated space, ask the helpdesk for directions. In these spaces, we’ve provided puzzles, jigsaws, craft materials and colouring books and pens to help you feel relaxed and explore your creativity,  But maybe you just want to sit and do nothing for a while. That’s fine too – pull up a beanbag, talk to the plants, or just sit, put the notes down and let your mind wander. You’ll feel all the better for a break and ready to tackle your next assignment.

For more information on our relaxation spaces, please see here: Relaxation Spaces (napier.ac.uk)

Online Relaxation Space

Not only do we have physical spaces, but we also have an online relaxation space! Right here on the blog, we have an area dedicated to helping you take time out to relax from studying. Check out our online relaxation space at the top of this page. There is something for everyone, with links to breathing exercises, art therapy and relaxing music. To name just a few.

By Lesley McRobb

Colour Blindness Day

Colour Blindness Day

Colour Blindness Awareness Day was launched in 2015 and is held on September 6th – the birthday of John Dalton. He is credited with being the first person known to realise colour blindness exists. Furthermore, he also introduced atomic theory into chemistry. As a scientist, he became aware that neither he nor his brother saw colours the same way as everyone else. He thought this was because they had blue liquid in their eyes and Dalton left his eyes to science so that research could be carried out after his death. Dalton understood that because both he and his brother were affected, their condition must be hereditary. Over 150 years later DNA proved he had inherited colour blindness. Colour blindness is also known as Daltonism in his memory.

What is Colour blindness?

We’re sure you are aware that not all disabilities are visible. Colour blindness or colour vision deficiency (CVD) is one of those that you may not realise is affecting someone. It affects roughly 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women. The effects can be mild, moderate or severe. You can be born with CVD, or it can start at any age. It can be a side effect of conditions such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis or as a consequence of the eye disease glaucoma. Medications or exposure to certain chemicals can also cause colour deficiencies.

Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure or treatment for inherited colour blindness. Those with the condition will find that they can adapt to it to some extent but may not be able to pursue professions where accurate colour vision is required. If a colour vision deficiency is developed because of illness, injury or medication, addressing the underlying condition may help.

The main symptom of CVD is finding it hard to tell the difference between colours. There are different types of CVD – the most common being unable to fully ‘see’ red, green or blue light. Being ‘red/green colour blind’ means people with it can easily confuse any colours which have some red or green as part of the whole colour. So someone with red/green colour blindness is likely to confuse blue and purple because they can’t ‘see’ the red element of the colour purple.


Testing for CVD

There are 2 main tests for colour vision deficiency:

  • the Ishihara test – reading images made up of coloured dots. The Ishihara test is used to detect the most common types of colour blindness, which are categorised as red-green colour deficiencies
  • colour arrangement tests – putting coloured objects in order of what shade they are


Colour vision testing is not part of the routine NHS eye test, but you can ask an optician for it if you think you need it.

Effects on daily life:

Driving – More specifically identifying signal lights and colour-coded signs that are designed to stand out such as danger and warning signs.

Colour coded charts – People suffering from colour blindness can have great difficulty reading colour-coded charts and other similar types of activities.

Jobs – Certain job restrictions apply for someone with a colour vision deficiency, such as a train driver.

Education – Not being able to distinguish colours when needed to complete taught activities and assessments.

Living a life full of colour – Something most of us take for granted but it is estimated that someone who is colour blind may only see as few as 10,000 shades of colour compared to someone with normal colour vision who can see up to 1,000,000 distinct shades of colour.

CVD is just one of many disabilities that can hinder the learning experience and make daily activities like using the web difficult or impossible. The demand and need for physical and digital accessibility will only continue to rise, underscoring the critical importance of raising overall disability awareness.

Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh Napier accessibility statement: https://my.napier.ac.uk/wellbeing-support-and-inclusion/accessibility-statement

If you would like advice about how the university can support students and staff with physical disabilities and mental health issues you can contact the Napier Wellbeing, Support and Inclusion team: https://my.napier.ac.uk/wellbeing-support-and-inclusion/disability-inclusion

Hardware available to borrow from the library

We have a range of ergonomic keyboards and mice, noise-cancelling headphones, laptop riser stands and coloured overlays available for everyone to borrow from each campus library. You can use Library Search to see what is available-it helps to select ‘Equipment’ under the Format filter options on the right-hand side.

We also have extra-large monitors and height-adjustable desks in each library, ask at the helpdesks to find out where they are situated.

Our library assistants are happy to help with all your well-being queries.

By Vivienne Hamilton

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

Welcome to the library

Welcome to the library

We would like to welcome all our new students to the library and, of course, the library blog. This is a place to keep you informed about the library, such as changes to opening hours, equipment for loan and our library spaces.  Furthermore, we will also post lots of fun items too (check out our Lego and Barbie posts), informative posts (Out and about in Scotland and International Moon Day) and posts raising awareness (World Ocean Day and Stress Awareness Month).

Opening hours

Opening hours are listed on our webpage. Hours will change during trimester 3 and at holiday periods.

Library Search

Library Search is our catalogue which lets you search for books and articles and gives you access to thousands of ebooks and articles.

Book loans

Books can be borrowed from the self-service kiosks using your student card. Loans are for up to 4 months, provided the book is not requested by another user. You will receive a borrowing activity letter each week which will let you know whether your loans have been renewed or if they should be returned.

Click and Collect Service

You can make requests for books using our Click and Collect service. You can request books from any campus library and you can collect them from whichever campus suits you best.

Study spaces

All campus libraries have group study rooms bookable through Resource Booker. Additionally, We also have individual study spaces and collaborative desks which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


All campus libraries have laptops for loan from our Lapsafes. Loans are for 2 weeks and the safes are self-service, operated using your student card.

Special events

Not only do we help you with all your studying needs, but in addition, we also run events throughout the year so keep a look out for posters and social media posts to see if booking is required. Previous events include an Easter Egg Hunt and Therapets visits.

Library tours

Want to learn about all things Library and get a head start on your studies? You can book a library tour to get all the information you need for your studies!

Get Connected

IT is offering Get Connected sessions at the beginning of term to help with connecting to university Wi-Fi, using the Napier app, multi-factor authentication and any other IT issues you may have. These are drop-in sessions at the times and places listed in the link.


Printers are available in all campus libraries-make sure that you have enough print credit to complete your job.

Relaxation Spaces

If you need to take some time out from your studies head to our Relaxation Spaces – there’s one on each campus. We have books, games, colouring sheets and suggestions to help you de-stress.

By Vivienne Hamilton

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