Scots diet under spotlight in New Lanark

A new touring display from the National Library of Scotland telling the fascinating story of the development of the Scots diet over the past 400 years opens in New Lanark on September 23 2017.

Part of a Scotland-wide tour that aims to introduce the National Library’s collections to people across the country, close to where they live, Lifting the Lid can be seen at the New Lanark World Heritage Site from September 23-November 12. Entry to Lifting the Lid is included with a New Lanark Visitor Attraction ticket, or Robert Owen’s School for Children ticket.

The display is made up of a series of colourful panels which tell the story of food and drink in Scotland, based on photographs and descriptions of material in the National Library’s collection. The display will help visitors understand more of how their ancestors lived and how their diet links to what we eat today.

The information in the display is taken from the popular exhibition Lifting the Lid: 400 years of food and drink in Scotland which was staged at the Library’s Edinburgh headquarters in 2015. 

Curator Olive Geddes who developed Lifting the Lid said: “We hope that, through this touring exhibition, people can learn more about food in Scotland and about how tastes have changed and developed.”

The display will also include objects from collections across Lanarkshire to look at the story of Scotland's relationship with food and drink over the centuries.

Scotland has a rich and diverse natural larder with plentiful supplies of fish, game, cereals and fruit. Yet, Scots have been branded the 'sick man of Europe' and their diet condemned. 

Before the industrial age, the rural poor were said to be 'remarkably healthy' with a simple, frugal but wholesome diet. For most, meat was an occasional luxury and desserts unknown. But, those who could afford to do so consumed large amounts of meat and used copious amounts of sugar now considered damaging to health. 

Lifting the Lid celebrates Scotland's changing relationship with food and drink, and explores the myths and traditions associated with its peoples' diet.

Colourful panels in 'Lifting the lid' feature content from the National Library of Scotland's printed and manuscript items, including pages from recipe books, food advertisements, quotations, illustrations and photographs. Click here to discover content from the original 2015 exhibition.

Lifting the Lid: A history of Food & Drink in Scotland

23rd September - 12th November 2017

Included in a Visitor Attraction ticket. Book online here or purchase at our Reception Desk. Also included in a 'School only' ticket (£5.50pp) which only includes entry to Robert Owen's School for Children.

Open 10am-5pm in September/October. 10am-4pm in November.