British Library

Iconic Plague Images Are Often Not What They Seem

Many of the images we associate with the plague actually depict leprosy or smallpox. In fact, there are very few images of the Black Death from the time of the scourge.<p>A few weeks ago, I reported a story about three cases of the plague in New Mexico. The bacterial illness pops up fairly regularly …

World News

Photos: Chinese Qurans bring together elements of Islamic and Asian art

With Muslim traders working in the Asian country, an Islamic community is said to have been established there in centuries past.<p>A 17th-century Qur’an …

Qur'an

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Today at 60: How have accents changed?

What have been the biggest changes in our country over the past 60 years?<p>We're marking Today's sixtieth anniversary by looking at some of them, including the way we speak. John Humphrys speaks to Jonnie Robinson, the British Library's sound archive curator and Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative MP, to …

Libraries

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 17/08/2017

0650<p>Today's #PuzzleForToday has been set by Paul Carden, senior lecturer at the computer science and informatics department at London's South Bank University<p>0710<p>It's the first time in almost 20 years that AS levels haven't counted towards the final grade in some subjects. The changes include …

Referendums

The Whole Art of Dining - Afternoon tea

Here Rey looks at various forms of afternoon tea: tea in private houses; the working-class tea; children's tea; and drawing-room tea. He describes …

Tea

The Lost Art of Stealing Fruit

My Hungarian-Czech grandmother, an otherwise goodhearted and generous woman, had a notoriously lax attitude toward property rules: bank pens, ashtrays, and hospital slippers all were fair for the taking. One minute, she’d be giving a bus driver brooches “for his vife”; the next, she’d be stomping …

Long-form Journalism

Medieval Fitness Tips

Need advice on keeping fit and how to exercise? Cait Stevenson tells us how it was done in the 15th century.

Fitness

Pictures: A 53-ft scroll that captured images of the 1857 mutiny (they way the British saw it)

The set of panel paintings featuring buildings and monuments in Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Agra, and Amritsar.<p>As part of my research …

History

Friday links

August 12 is Erwin Schrödinger’s (he of the famous half-dead cat) birthday: explanation, quotes, jokes, video.<p>12 Plane Crashes That Changed …

Leonardo Da Vinci

Gaming at the British Library

<i>The British Library is the worlds second largest library, with over 150 million items in its catalogue, a number only surpassed by The Library of</i> …

Libraries

What Malay works from Patani tell us about the literary and cultural heritage of Southeast Asia

Patani, located on the northeast coast of the Malay peninsula, has long been renowned as a centre for Islamic learning.<p>Patani is a culturally …

Libraries

9 Strange and Surprising Woodcuts From Early Printing

History<p>Witches, demons, and wondrous creatures appear in a new book from the British Library, <i>Graven Images: The Art of the Woodcut.</i><p>Aug 04, 20172:00 pm<p>…

Cool Stuff

Two new 'Harry Potter' books to hit stores in fall

The books will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first magical novel.<p>On Oct. 20, 1997, the world of Muggles was changed …

Harry Potter

That Was the Comic Week That Was: New Aces Weekly, Strontium Dog, Moomins – and a chance to get your work in 2000AD – and Mr Men!

The Devil’s Breath by Lee Robson and Brian Coyle is running in Aces Weekly Volume 29It’s been a busy week, and not just in terms of stories posted on …

Comics

Ye soul agonies in ye life of Oscar Wilde

Article by:Carolyn BurdettTheme:Fin de siècle<p>‘Art for art’s sake’? Aestheticism and decadence shocked the Victorian establishment by challenging …

Literature

This Traveling Library is the 17th-Century Version of the Kindle

Books have long been considered precious materials, both as sources of learning and hallmarks of a cultured lifestyle. Grand libraries in cities like Prague and Dublin speak to the idea that what holds a piece of literature should be as important as the book itself. An intriguing item at the …

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Epic Notebook Is Now Available To View For Free

Image via British Library<br>If you ever need a burst of motivation, Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook might do the trick. The legendary artist is known for …

Leonardo Da Vinci

Why it’s not too late for baby boomers to open up about their postwar memories

An examination of people’s “unspoken” emotions is missing from recent British history.<p>John Maynard Keynes observed that by the time politicians …

Columbus in America

Intro<p>Christopher Columbus (c1451-1506) wasn't the first to sail from Europe to America, but his voyage there in 1492 kick-started contact between the …

Christopher Columbus

Snakes or scrolls? 11th-century wall paintings in Norfolk - Medieval manuscripts blog

Our manuscripts contain so many hidden gems of medieval art, and one of this Blog's aims is to bring them to light. It is worth remembering, though, …

Archaeology

Sights for sore eyes: alternative places to visit in London

1<p>Been to the South Bank?<p>Go to Trinity Buoy Wharf<p>Hidden in the industrial wilds of the Leamouth Peninsula, this secluded waterside arts hub is well …

London

Loving the modern …

… because the old was sometimes pretty scary.I ran across this story yesterday morning.<b>The British Library offers over a million free vintage images</b> …

Libraries

Browse the British Library’s online copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s 570-page notebook

Leonardo da Vinci was an avid taker of notes. Over the course of his working life, he filled thousands of pages with drawings, sketches, equations, …

Humanities

Israel National Library launches digital manuscript archive

45,000 texts spanning the centuries and geography of the Jewish world, captured in over 4.2 million images, are available online

Israel

Discover the Jacobean Traveling Library: The 17th Century Precursor to the Kindle

<i>Image courtesy of the University at Leeds</i><p>In the striking image above, you can see an early experiment in making books portable--a 17th century …

Culture

British Library pays tribute to Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali

The <b>British Library</b> in London will pay tribute to the life, work and legacy of the great Palestinian cartoonist <b>Naji al-Ali</b> at a special event on …

Middle East

Pouncing beasts - Medieval manuscripts blog

You are turning the pages of an ancient and beautiful manuscript. It is about the size of a modern A4 volume, although wholly different in smell …

Libraries

How did an Urdu play come to be translated in Hebrew script? A Judaeo-Urdu book raises possibilities

This Judaeo-Urdu manuscript may have been created for (or by) the Baghdadi Jewish community.<p>The British Library’s sole Judaeo-Urdu manuscript is a …

Libraries

Triumph and Tragedy: Esperanto and the Russian Revolution - European studies blog

After some initial doubts by the Tzarist censors, the first decade of the 20th century was a period of good relations between Esperanto speakers and …

Russia