Mountains cover much of the earth’s surface from the visible terrestrial peaks to the submerged marine ranges. Mountains form an integral part of many stories, films and works of art and they are often a key source of inspiration for artist and writers. Most people have a strong idea of what they would consider a mountain […]
The next Scottish Local History Forum Annual Lecture will be held in the Library on 13 February, when Professor Niall Logan will be talking about Duping the Luftwaffe. There is an accompanying display in the Library which showcases items relating to this, as well as to civil defence and air raid precautions. With another war […]
On the ground floor of the Surgeons Hall Museum in Edinburgh there is a glass jar with a piece of skin. On this skin is the tattoo of a lady. This tattoo is discolored and disfigured by chemicals and age. Any other information is purely speculative. We don’t know who created the tattoo, who bore […]
Every four years ice skating captures the attention of the world when the Winter Olympics take place. This week the world has watched Aliona Savchenko with partner Bruno Massot collapse on the ice with joy and exhaustion after winning Olympic gold at her fifth attempt. In 1984 a British television audience of more than 24 […]
As this post goes out on Saint Valentine’s Day your thoughts may be turning amorous. But are they turning to a bestselling 15th-century erotic epistolary novel written by a Scotland-visiting future Pope and once owned by a relic-collecting Catholic convert before being bought by the Library in the middle of World War II? Perhaps not, […]
If you plan to mark Shrove Tuesday by making some pancakes this year, look no further than Posh Pancakes for some inspiration. With over 70 different pancakes to choose from, it is the recipe for the perfect Pancake Day next week!
I have been thinking about nuclear attack and survival recently. Not especially because of recent international politics, but because of a book called Nerves Versus Nazis that found its way under my nose. Published in 1940, it is the personal advice of John Langdon-Davies on the subject of coping with air-raids. Based on his experiences […]
Fitting for wintry January days is this sculptural work of art, new to the National Library’s Artists Books collection. Sedna and the Fulmar is one of forty signed, limited-editions by artist Ron King at Circle Press in collaboration with Scottish poet Richard Price.
“5 Ingredients” by Jamie Oliver was the best-selling book in Britain last year selling over 700,000 copies and confirming the popularity of the celebrity chef. We perhaps think of celebrity chefs as a fairly recent phenomenon dating back to the 1950s with Fanny Craddock and later Delia Smith, Ken Hom and Keith Floyd leading the […]