Alfred Nobel was both a creative genius and an idealist. The inventor of dynamite and over 300 patents left an enduring legacy to the world by establishing a fund which would award annual prizes in five specified fields: physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. Economic science was added in the 1960s. But what does it take to win a Nobel Prize: genes or genius, education or environment?
This feature is associated with a major exhibition at the British Library, which ran from 7 December 2005 to 15 March 2006.
You can find out about what was in the exhibition and learn things about the Nobel Prizes you didn't know.
You can read about our learning programme.
You can read a specially-written illustrated feature about the Nobel Laureate Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), discoverer of penicillin, whose archive is in the British Library.
You can hear Nobel Laureates talking about their work.