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When I have a little money, I buy books

"In 2011, when we blogged about the Shaftesbury Psalter (which may have belonged to Adeliza of Louvain; see below), we wrote that medieval manuscripts which had belonged to women were relatively rare survivals. This still remains true, but as we have reviewed our blog over the past few years, it has become clear that we must emphasize the relative nature of the rarity – we have posted literally dozens of times about manuscripts that were produced for, owned, or created by a number of medieval women." -- For International Womens' Day last week, the British Library's Medieval Manuscripts blog showcases a selection of manuscripts that belonged to some of the most remarkable women of the Middle Ages. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 12, 2014 - 11 comments

Lord Cobham was burnt alive, but I forget what for

15 year old Jane Austen wrote a satrical history of English monarchs and now you can read it.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 25, 2014 - 19 comments

A lot of public domain images

The British Library has posted more than a million public domain images on Flickr.
posted by jiawen on Dec 14, 2013 - 23 comments

Welcome to Offal Pudding Lane

Take a fly-through tour of 17th century London! Six students from De Montfort University have created a 3D representation of London before the Great of Fire of 1666. The digital model is based on the area surrounding Thomas Farriner's bakery in Pudding Lane, where the Great Fire began. The project is the winning entry in the Off The Map competition, in which students were invited to build 3D models based on maps at the British Library.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Oct 27, 2013 - 40 comments

We Must Consider the Sounds of Knives and Forks

Noise: A Human History is a cool 30-part radio series by David Hendy in collaboration with the British Library Sound Archive and the BBC that explores the past 100,000 years of sound and listening.
posted by Lutoslawski on Oct 22, 2013 - 6 comments

Encarta Resurrected

"We are weak, writing is difficult, but for my own sake I do not regret this journey..." -from the final three Diaries Of Robert Falcon Scott (p. 166/167) which are now available scanned, transcribed, and narrated in fully searchable form by the British Library. [more inside]
posted by lemuring on Jan 30, 2012 - 19 comments

Out Of This World

Out Of This World: Science Fiction But Not As You Know It is an exhibition at the British Library exploring the origins of Science Fiction, running until September. China Mieville takes a look at the exhibition for the BBC. (Out Of This World postcards - images from the exhibition) [more inside]
posted by dng on May 27, 2011 - 13 comments

"When's we was all threshing together we was always happy."

The George Ewart Evans collection of oral interviews on rural English life. 250 recordings of interviews and songs made by oral history pioneer George Ewart Evans between 1956 and 1977, many in Suffolk, with a smaller number in Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Reginal Hoskins the thresher, Annie Cable the kitchen maid, Baron Rhodes of Saddleworth. They're all pretty fascinating.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 17, 2010 - 6 comments

Magnificent Maps

The Klencke Atlas of 1660 (video), the world's largest book.
Grayson Perry's Map of Nowhere (video)
Many more maps and videos at the BBC's The Beauty of Maps site.
Would you like to see these maps in person? The British Library has just opened their exhibition Magnificent Maps where you can see these among 80 treasures from their map collection, many never seen before.
posted by vacapinta on Apr 30, 2010 - 12 comments

Voices from WWI speak again in British Library

"It is the business of educated people to speak so that no-one may be able to tell in what county their childhood was passed." Despite efforts by Victorians to eradicate them, dialects of English in Great Britain continue to vary greatly, much to the consternation of many traditionalists. But a recently acquired archive is giving new insight into old dialects--some of which no longer exist. Recorded in a WWI prisoner of war camp on shellac disks, the archive was part of an effort by German linguists to study regional variation in the English language. A report by PRI's The World includes a brief synopsis--and a powerful rendition of a beloved Scottish ballad by a homesick soldier.
posted by jefficator on Nov 11, 2009 - 10 comments

I'm teh uglee kid on teh internets

Study: Internet Not Dumbing Down Kids, Who Were Stupid Anyway. Full report! (warning: PDF) The information literacy of young people, has not improved with the widening access to technology: in fact, their apparent facility with computers disguises some worrying problems. Young people have unsophisticated mental maps of what the internet is, often failing to appreciate that it is a collection of networked resources from different providers. (Like tubes!)
posted by parmanparman on Jan 20, 2008 - 43 comments

Mozart's diary

Mozart's musical diary - kept between 1784 and 1791 - goes online today courtesy of the British Library. There is a helpful audio commentary if you can't decipher his handwriting, plus excerpts from some of his music. The same site also has works by artists and authors such as Jane Austen, Leonardo da Vinci and Lewis Carroll.
posted by greycap on Jan 12, 2006 - 5 comments

Renaissance Festivals Books: British Library

Renaissance Festival Books. The British Library has digitized 253 books about European festivals and ceremonies that occurred between 1475 and 1700. "From marriages, coronations and births to official visits and saints’ days, celebrations staged by the royal courts of Europe were occasions to be remembered. Festival books could be compared to souvenir programmes, or magazine accounts, documenting through eye-witness accounts and philosophical reflections the key events in the lives of princely and elite folk – the celebrities of the day." The collection is aimed at both lay and scholarly types. via
posted by peacay on Aug 16, 2005 - 12 comments

Volumes That I Prize Above My Dukedom

Page through the entire first quarto of Hamlet, or the second quarto of King Lear, or any one of dozens of other precious rare editions of Shakespeare, courtesy of the British Library. Clicking on a page brings up a bigger view of the page, which is handy for taking a closer look at lines like "To be or not to be, I, there's the point". There's also some brief background on the various editions.
posted by yankeefog on Aug 4, 2005 - 21 comments

Charles Burney and the History of Music

The Doctor of Music. "A General History of Music From the Earliest Ages to the Present Period, Volume IV", written by the English musician and historian Dr. Charles Burney (1726-1814) was published in 1789. Its first volume, completed in 1776, was the first History of music ever published. The fourth volume is of particular interest as it discusses the state of music in Burney's own lifetime. He observed the music, and musicians that he wrote about first hand. In fact, Burney was close friends with composers such as Haydn and Handel, he even played violin in Handel's orchestra, and lived with Dr. Thomas Arne for two years in London, as his apprentice. The fourth volume, to Dr. Charles Burney, was the most interesting as he preferred the music of the current time, finding no interest in "antiquarianism." In the main link, the entire volume -- in facsimile -- is available to readers. Burney also translated Pietro Metastasio's Memoirs. Also: The Burney Collection of Newspapers at the British Library. More inside.
posted by matteo on Jun 19, 2005 - 6 comments

Collect Britain

Collect Britain 'presents 90,000 images and sounds from the British Library, chosen to evoke places in the UK and beyond.' Dialects, gardens, sketches, stamps, and all kinds of stuff.
posted by plep on Mar 4, 2005 - 4 comments

The Writings of Charles Darwin on the Web

The Writings of Charles Darwin on the Web. Thanks to the British Library.
posted by plep on Nov 9, 2004 - 11 comments

Collect Britain

Collect Britain - The British Library portal site for collections, themed tours and virtual exhibitions, including Literary Landscapes, and Lost Gardens (several pages use flash). [via monkeyfilter]
posted by jb on Oct 26, 2004 - 1 comment

Shakespeare original scans

The British Library is putting online 93 high-resolution digitised copies of 21 of Shakespeare's plays. They include many lines and passages that are different from those found in the First Folio editions, which were not printed until after Shakespeare's death. BBC article.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 10, 2004 - 9 comments

The Mythical Quest

The Mythical Quest, an old exhibition at the British Library. 'Throughout the world, tales have always been told of heroes and heroines embarking on perilous quests in search of lost loved ones, the secret of immortality, earthly paradise or simply great riches. Many of these stories have elements in common, such as clashes with monsters, battles with the elements, interventions by the gods and tests of moral character, mental cunning and physical strength. These tales have been expressed in songs, literature, art and dance for thousands of years, and are still being reinterpreted today in books, comic strips, interactive games and adventure films.'
More British Library exhibits here, from early Indian photography to the secret life of maps.
Examples of mythical quests :- Monkey: Journey to the West (another version here, not to mention the TV series); the Ramayana (and the Ramakian, the Thai version); Cupid and Psyche at the Classics Pages (subject of a previous thread); the Holy Grail (more at the Catholic Enyclopaedia); the journey of Alexander the Great; Pilgrim's Progress and John Bunyan; the world of Dante and a map of Hell.
posted by plep on Jul 11, 2003 - 17 comments

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