This post was originally published on August 27, 2013

by Laura Damon-Moore

Today’s featured project is a splendid example of library + community collaboration at Edinburgh Central Library in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Interactive Art Trail, for which masters students from the Edinburgh College of Art were invited to create new works based on their investigations of collections in the Central Library, closes on August 31st.

With the advent of e-books and online resources such as Amazon and Kindle, there is much speculation about the significance of traditional libraries in the electronic age. While libraries must incorporate technology to compete with their online counterparts, we cannot discount the tactile nature of public libraries that cannot be re-created on screen. Libraries are often home to rare books, prints and manuscripts and unlike a museum the public has access to these artefacts which is an interaction that no scan or image can recreate. To celebrate this aspect of a traditional library, the 15 postgraduate graphic design and illustration students will be creating artistic interventions around the main public areas of the Central Library building to encourage audiences to explore the collections.

The exhibition is being filmed from conception to fruition and can be viewed by audiences through following a trail. There will be physical and virtual methods of viewing. All the works are being created by the post graduate students of the Edinburgh College of Art specifically for the Central Library; some will be collaborative and others solo workings. – Project Aims & Objectives

The project’s emphasis on exploration, investigation, and creative inspiration, not to mention its use of the library as a gallery space for the finished works, makes the Art Trail a truly inspiring example of a library-incubated project.

"Youth" by Pushpi Bagchi.

“Youth” by Pushpi Bagchi. Reference Library.

Even if you cannot go to the Central Library and explore the Interactive Art Trail in person, I strongly encourage you to wander through the online gallery on the project’s website.

Read more about the Interactive Art Trail and see artist interviews at the Tales of One City website.

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