Orkney, or the Orkney Islands, is a group of 70 islands off the north coast of Scotland. They became part of Scotland in 1469 in lieu of an unpaid dowry from Norway. Today Orkney is best known for its historic sites, the dive sites around the scuttled World War One German fleet, its birdlife, its food and drink, and the North Ronaldsay sheep who feed on seaweed.
Today we’re celebrating Midwifery Day with a look at its earliest bestseller. Just about 200 years ago, this book was published: Aristotle and midwifery – what’s that all about? And who was Culpeper? Let me take you right back to the 17th century where this story begins. At that time and well beyond, midwifery was […]
When you register with the National Library of Scotland you have free access to an extensive range of electronic resources. If your main address is in Scotland you can also use many of these resources from any computer outwith the National Library simply by logging into your Library account. Among these resources are two that […]
The Scottish Book Trade Index is now fully searchable! The new version has all the information from the old one, but you can now combine searches rather than looking for one word such as a name or trade. You can, for instance, find out how many booksellers there were in Brechin in the 18th century […]
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 […]
We have a new printed special and named collection available to consult in our Special Collections Reading Room: the Peter Sharratt Collection. This is a selection of 153 volumes from the library of the late Dr. Peter Sharratt (d. 2014), a former lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, who specialised in the French Renaissance and […]
From March 2016 to March 2017, the Library’s Conservation Unit undertook an ambitious project to conserve an extremely fragmentary map, resulting in unprecedented amounts of publicity. The map, known as the ‘Chimney Map’ because it was originally thought to have been found inside a chimney, was discovered during renovations at a house in Aberdeenshire, and […]
Our Treasures exhibition – Playing Shakespeare: 400 years of great acting– part of this year’s world-wide commemoration of Shakespeare’s death in 1616, is coming to the end of its run, with only a few days left. Monday 13 June is your last chance to see four centuries of Shakespeare on stage.
To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Library is displaying its copy of the First Folio on Friday 22 April, from 12:00 to 14:00. It is often said to be one of the most significant books ever printed – but why? William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April, 1564, and died there on April […]
My name is Ivana Cernanova. I am currently completing an internship within Rare Books Collections as part of my MSc in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies at the University of Edinburgh. I have spent most of my time here at the National Library working on the Provenance Project, researching and identifying the previous ownership history of […]