Do you like beer? Do you fully understand the process of brewing beer? There is no doubt that beer is a highly popular alcoholic drink but how many of those who enjoy it stop to think about how its four ingredients – hops, malted barley, water and yeast – miraculously combine.
We have recently bought a printed document linked to one of the boldest con men of all time, Gregor MacGregor (1786-1845). Other fraudsters may have made more money but MacGregor was breathtakingly audacious; he invented a country that didn’t exist, and then persuaded hundreds of investors to buy the bonds of a non-existent government and […]
One of the main aims of the National Library of Scotland is to collect a copy of every book published in the United Kingdom and in particular every book published in Scotland. Inevitably we miss a few items. Recently we were delighted to plug a small hole in our collections dating from the late 1940s […]
Sickness and health, birth and death, disease and cure: medicine and our understanding of the workings of our bodies and minds are an important part of how we know who we are. Great Discoveries in Medicine is a fascinating account of the evolution of medical knowledge and practice from ancient Egypt, India, and China […]
Night trains have long been a source of fascination. Authors from Agatha Christie to Graham Greene have used sleeper trains to tell tales of romance, intrigue and decadence against a rolling background of dramatic landscapes. The reality could be just as thrilling as the fiction: early British travellers on the Orient Express were advised to […]
As Spring has finally sprung in the northern hemisphere, now is the time to go outdoors and benefit from a “nature fix”. Most of us enjoy going for a walk in the park or further afield in the countryside at this time of year. It seems, however, that it is only recently that scientists have begun to […]
The work of Alan Turing continues to be of huge significance to all of our lives over 100 years since his birth. Any new works on Turing are an exciting addition to the collections of the library. “The Turing Guide” stands out with its extensive coverage of Turing’s life and works, written in a highly […]
Established by the film industry in 1912 as the nation’s only official and independent classifier of the moving image, the British Board of Film Classification (originally the British Board of Film Censors) has long been a source of fascination – and sometimes a bone of contention – for filmgoers, film-makers and industry figures.