Last Chance to See!

We are now in the last few days of our exhibition: the last day it will be open is Sunday 12th October (2-5 pm).

Next week begins the task of dismantling all the cases and returning the books to their homes in our stacks. And we have to count the votes in our poll 'Will people still be reading books in 100 years' time?'

Watch this space for the result...

Discover NLS

The latest issue of the National Library of Scotland's magazine, Discover NLS, is now available, featuring cover star Sean Connery, who was guest of honour at the Imprentit exhibition preview event for donors. Inside, you can read curator Graham Hogg's take on the exhibition, along with an extract from Antony Kamm's book Scottish Printed Books 1508-2008, and other news stories and features.

You can find Discover NLS on the NLS website as a pdf file, or email to receive a paper copy. For more information, to see the latest edition, or browse back numbers, see the Discover webpage.

500 years of medical printing

Last week I went to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh to attend the official launch of the "Scotland and medicine in print" website. This coincided with the opening of the exhibition "Written on the Body", which can be seen at the Surgeons' Hall Museum in Edinburgh. I have to admit that a few (not many!) of the exhibits are a bit gory for my taste, but then I am particularly squeamish ...

The "Scotland and medicine in print" website brings together a vast range of images with explanations of medical items printed in Scotland. The original items are held at a variety of partner organisations of the Scotland and Medicine project. One of the highlights of the website is a digital image of the earliest known book about medicine printed in Scotland:

This "brief description of the plague" was written by the Aberdeen doctor Gilbert Skeyne (c. 1522-1599), who later became physician to James VI. The book was printed in 1568 and describes the plague that broke out in Edinburgh that year. It is written neither in Latin nor in English, but in Scots! That is because the work is a serious attempt to give advice to the population about how to avoid infection and, if it's too late for that, on the treatment of the plague. Although Skeyne regarded good hygiene as important, he stated that "the principal preservative cure of the pest is, to returne to God":

The original copy of the book forms part of our Imprentit exhibition. You can see it in the Science & Technology case.

The Big Picture

Today the exhibition is Scotland's Big Picture on the BBC News Scotland webpage.

I feel I should say that we were pointing at an exhibition graphic and not actually at the book itself: the Chepman and Myllar Prints are the size of an average book and not bigger than the average person...

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