250 Years On: Sir Walter Scott and Register House

On Sunday 15th August 2021 we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland’s most famous poets and novelists. Although a record of his birth is not preserved in the National Records of Scotland (NRS), there is a wealth of material linking him to Register House in Edinburgh (or … Continue reading 250 Years On: Sir Walter Scott and Register House

Ancestry Research: Lightbulb Moments and False Trails

A chance discovery last year, in one of our registers inspired NRS Registration casework officer Rachael Lloyd to investigate the life of Malvina Wells – born into slavery in Grenada, and later making a life for herself in Edinburgh in the 1800s. Little did Rachael know that while she was researching her article Frances Macdonald, … Continue reading Ancestry Research: Lightbulb Moments and False Trails

Ethel Moorhead – ‘Scottish Leader of the Suffragettes’

National Records of Scotland (NRS) holds a wealth of records about suffragette activities in Scotland, including their prosecution, imprisonment, newspaper reports and cases of force-feeding. In 2018 we celebrated the centenary of some women gaining the parliamentary vote with the exhibition 'Malicious Mischief? Women's Suffrage in Scotland'. As part of the exhibition, a mini-website was … Continue reading Ethel Moorhead – ‘Scottish Leader of the Suffragettes’

PRSA Surgeries Move Online

The PRSA team are part of the Records and Archives Engagement Branch at National Records of Scotland, responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Public Records Scotland Act (2011) (PRSA). The Act requires named Scottish public authorities to submit a Records Management Plan (RMP) for the Keeper’s agreement, which must then be implemented and regularly … Continue reading PRSA Surgeries Move Online

Old Declaration, New Discovery

Dr Alan Borthwick is giving a talk today at the Declaration of Arbroath International Conference at Newbattle Abbey College. Today, Alan updates us on the most recent work with the Declaration – and demonstrates that, even after seven centuries, conservation work and research on items in our archives are still revealing new surprises… The only surviving … Continue reading Old Declaration, New Discovery

Best laid plans: why I don’t work at a desk

Today, we revisit the NRS Conservation studio with conservator Jackie Thorburn, who tells us about the unique challenges that her team deal with – including conservation of gigantic maps of Scotland and historic plans … I’ve worked in the NRS Conservation department since 1992 and am no stranger to working on maps and plans. They … Continue reading Best laid plans: why I don’t work at a desk

Church records – Reform, dissension and coals for the poor

National Records of Scotland recently added over one million images from the kirk session records to our ancestry research service ScotlandsPeople, now free to search and view. With over 6,000 volumes now online, these church records offer a fantastic insight into the lives of people in Scotland spanning almost 350 years. Our colleagues work with … Continue reading Church records – Reform, dissension and coals for the poor

Conservation of a Sketchbook

Detail: Ilan Dun from the Village, showing the cragsmen of St Kilda (NRS: GD41/598) Sir Thomas Dick Lauder was an administrator in manufacturing and fisheries during the 1840s, required to travel extensively around Scotland’s coasts. In his journeys, he sketched detailed scenes of the coastlines and fishing villages he visited. NRS Conservator Jackie Thorburn has … Continue reading Conservation of a Sketchbook