This month I’ve assembled a display in the main National Library of Scotland building outside the Reading Room.
The two cases show items from the Official Publications collection, all of which relate to death.
These volumes reflect the changing attitudes towards death throughout the centuries, from saints’ reliquaries and Egyptian mummies to Victorian mourning jewellery and the Shipman Inquiry on death certification.
If you can’t see the display in person, you can listen to or download the two-part Morbid Curiosity podcast on iTunes.
There will be a short film available on the NLS website soon.
Morbid Curiosity bibliography.
Items on display during July 2012:
Robinson, James, ‘Finer than gold: saints and their relics in the Middle Ages’ (London: British Museum Press, 2011).
Department of Health, ‘Care and respect in death’ (London: Department of Health, 2006).
Wallace, John, ‘When someone dies: how to cope when someone dear to you is gone’ (Edinburgh: NHS Health Scotland, 2011).
Smith, Janet, Dame, ‘The Shipman Inquiry : third report : death certification and the investigation of deaths by coroners presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Secretary of State for Health’ (London: Stationery Office, 2003).
Penny, Nicholas, ‘Mourning’ (London: HMSO, 1981).
Llewellyn, Nigel, ‘The Art of Death: visual culture in the English death ritual c.1500-c.1800 (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1991).
World Health Organization, ‘Statistiques épidémiologiques et démographiques annuelles de la santé = Annual epidemiological and vital statistics 1939-1946’ (Geneva: World Health Organization, 1939-1946).
Maxwell, Ingval, Nanda, Ratish and Urquhart, Dennis, ‘Conservation of Historic Graveyards’ (Edinburgh, Historic Scotland, 2001).
Grisbaum, Gretchen and Ubelaker, Douglas, ‘An analysis of forensic anthropology cases submitted to the Smithsonian Institution by the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1962 to 1994’ (Washington D.C. : Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001).
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, ‘Funeral reception catering at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh’ (Edinburgh: RGBE, 2012)
House of Commons, ‘Report on the mortality from influenza in Scotland during the epidemic of 1918-19, Cmd 282’ (Cambridge: Proquest LLC, 2007). Available as an electronic resource: http://parlipapers.chadwyck.co.uk/fullrec/fullrec.do?id=1919-022606&DurUrl=Yes
Other items from the Official Publications collection:
National Health Service in Scotland Management Executive, ‘Mortuary and post-mortem room. Supplement 1, Activity space data sheet’ (Edinburgh: HMSO, 1994).
Mitchell, D.J. and Loader, A., ‘Investigation of pollutant emissions from crematoria’ (Stevenage: Warren Spring Laboratory, 1993).
Historic Scotland, ‘Emergency measures for historic memorials: a short guide for cemetery managers’ (Edinburgh: Historic Scotland, 2003).
Department for Constitutional Affairs, ‘Guide for burial ground managers’ (London: DCA, 2005).
Gibson, Edwin and Kingsley, G., ‘Courage remembered : the story behind the construction and maintenance of the Commonwealth’s Military Cemeteries and Memorials of the Wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945’ (London: HMSO, 1995).
Read on at NLS:
Faust, Drew Gilpin, ‘This republic of suffering: death and the American Civil War’ (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008).
Holbrooke, Ralph A., ‘Death, ritual and bereavement’ (London: Routledge, 1989).
Jalland, Patricia, ‘Death in the Victorian family’ (Oxford: OUP, 1996).
Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth, ‘On death and dying’ (London: Tavistock Publications, 1970).
Mims, Cedric A., ‘When we die: the science, culture and rituals of death’ (London: Robinson, 1998).
Seale, Clive, ‘Constructing death: the sociology of dying and bereavement’ (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998).
All these are available in the National Library of Scotland.