Major flooding hit the National Library of Scotland last night, after a sprinkler valve burst on a top floor.

The building, in the heart of Edinburgh, is the country's legal deposit library and holds many extremely rare items. The National Library of Scotland holds seven million books, 13 million printed items and more than 1.6 million maps.

Up to 30 staff including specialists were called in to work through the night to save valuable manuscripts as water flooded from the building's top levels nine floors down to the basement.

Bruce Blacklaw, the press officer for the library, said: "We have a large team of staff, including preservation and conservation specialists, who will be working through the night to dry out some damp items and assess the damage. The collections are incredibly diverse and we are talking about perhaps a couple of hundred items. It is difficult to categorise precisely what they are right now."

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