Friday, 15 August 2008

The founding of Australia

After my first visit Down Under in April/May this year, I'm mad on all things Aussie. I was delighted to find this fantastic resource on the website of the State Library of New South Wales From Terra Australis to Australia. It's got drawings, maps and paintings, and letters from the First Fleet which bring this historic event to life.
I'd highly recommend a couple of books to anyone interested in this period, The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes, and The Commonwealth of thieves by Thomas Keneally.

Earthquakes, tidal waves... and general disasters

The National Risk Register is intended to
capture the range of emergencies that might have
a major impact on all, or significant parts of, the UK.
It provides a national picture of the risks the country faces,
and is designed to complement Community Risk
Registers, already produced and published locally by
emergency planners. The driver for this work is the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 which also defines
what the government means by emergencies, and what
responsibilities are placed on emergency responders
in order to prepare for them.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

A plague on all your houses

As you can tell, we're all a little bit obsessed with things medical here! Just to continue the theme, you can see the first medical book printed in Scotland in the "Imprentit: 500 years of the Scottish printed word" exhibition. Written by Gilbert Skeyne, "Ane breue Descriptioun of the Pest" was published in 1568, the year over 2,000 people were killed by the disease in Edinburgh. The author, a physician of King James VI, exhorted the population to "returne to God" to defeat the plague.

There are, of course, official publications in the exhibition, too.