On the 30th March 1855, an article appeared in the Aberdeen Free Press seeking to alert its readers to the emergence of a worrying new phenomenon: a ‘class of sturdy beggars’ who falsely assumed the appearance of disability in order to reap ‘a rather plentiful harvest’, while leading lives of idleness and dissipation. Denounced as … Continue reading The Dummy Dodge – Part 1
There are 678 Registrars in Scotland and they record around 140,000 "life events" every year. These include births, still births, marriages, civil partnerships, and deaths, and National Records of Scotland have been safeguarding these records since compulsory registration was introduced in 1855. That's a lot of records, and what many people don't know is that … Continue reading Accuracy and Fidelity: Scotland’s District Examiners
‘Prisoners or Patients?’ is the latest part of a major project I began in 2016, to use the lessons of history to stimulate awareness of mental health issues in the modern world. Using free podcasts, social media, and photo exhibitions of asylum and prison patients I tried to reach out to sufferers and those close … Continue reading Fringe Festival Exhibition – ‘Prisoners or Patients? Criminal Insanity in Victorian Scotland’
Demographic information about Scotland’s population Today we’ve published ‘Scotland’s Population 2018 - The Registrar General’s Annual Review of Demographic Trends’, and here our statisticians explain the key findings in the report. How is Scotland’s population changing? Scotland’s population has continued to increase and now stands at a record high of 5.44 million. Since 2008, … Continue reading Scotland’s Changing Population
149 years after the birth of entertainer Sir Harry Lauder, NRS archivist Veronica Schreuder investigates his "Million Pound Fund", established to help soldiers returning from the battlefields of the First World War... Sir Harry Lauder was the highest paid artist in variety theatre during the First World War, and the enthusiastic driving force behind ‘The … Continue reading The Harry Lauder Million Pound Fund
A new free exhibition by National Records of Scotland (NRS) reveals the hidden histories of prisoner-patients of the Victorian era. Opening 1 August, Prisoners or Patients? Criminal Insanity in Victorian Scotland uses never before displayed records and photographs to reveal tragic stories of crime, treatment, recovery and release. Guest curator Professor Rab Houston of the … Continue reading Exhibition: Prisoners or Patients?
A snap of a visit to Edinburgh records the beginning of a long transformation that changed an entire profession... This seemingly innocuous photograph captures a moment in the long transformation of the once all-male world of the Scottish registrars, a profession now staffed predominantly by women. It captures a visit to New Register House in Edinburgh by members … Continue reading A Grand Day Out
National Records of Scotland has recorded life expectancy for people in Scotland since 1980-1982, life expectancy is always calculated for three years to reduce the effect of unusual years. For the three decades that followed, life expectancy has increased, meaning that people in Scotland live longer than at any other time in history. However, over … Continue reading Why is life expectancy stalling in Scotland?
Today we published Scotland’s latest population estimates, one of our key statistical publications at NRS. We ask Beth Watson, Assistant Statistician, why these stats are so important and what they tell us about Scotland’s population. Beth Watson, Assistant Statistician at National Records of Scotland How are the stats used? “It’s so important to have high … Continue reading Scotland’s population at a record high
NRS released the lists of all babies’ first names registered in Scotland in 2018 this morning. We told you that Olivia and Jack headed up the lists for 2018, but how do we know this? How did we compile all this information? A lot of things have to happen behind the scenes before we can … Continue reading Baby Names – how do we do it?