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’

What’s in an archive?

For this year’s Explore Your Archive (#EYA, #exploreyourarchive) campaign, Outreach archivist Jocelyn Grant explains what an archive is, what makes them unique, and explains some of the terms and techniques archivists use to make records accessible... “The outstanding feature of the Archive, putting this also at its simplest, it… by its nature… represents some measure … Continue reading What’s in an archive?

National Records of Scotland – Remembrance and the Roll of Honour

11 November marks Armistice, also known as Remembrance Day, where those who lost their lives lost during the First World War are commemorated. Over 16 million people died during the war and although there is no accepted total of Scottish war dead, estimates vary between 100,000 and 135,000. The sheer scale of the conflict mobilised … Continue reading National Records of Scotland – Remembrance and the Roll of Honour

“Oh! Rowan Tree, thou’lt aye be dear to me”

“Oh! Rowan Tree, thou’lt aye be dear to me” Hallowe’en, or All Saints’ Eve, is considered the time of year that the physical and supernatural realms are at their closest, and magical (or spooky) occurrences are possible. It is also a time of celebration; the end of summer and the thanksgiving of the harvest. This … Continue reading “Oh! Rowan Tree, thou’lt aye be dear to me”

The “Radical Rising” of 1820

The “Radical War” or “Radical Rising” of 1820, also known as the Scottish Insurrection of 1820, was a week of strikes and unrest in Scotland that culminated in the trial of a number of ‘radicals’ for treason. National Records of Scotland (NRS) holds the trial records and to mark the 200th anniversary of this event, … Continue reading The “Radical Rising” of 1820

Prisoners or Patients? The Story of Margaret Hunter or Beaton

Prisons have a much higher proportion of men and women with mental disorders than the general population. This was also true in Victorian times, when ‘the liability of the criminal classes to an excess of insanity is very great, and much beyond that of the free population of the country’. At this time, The Prisons … Continue reading Prisoners or Patients? The Story of Margaret Hunter or Beaton

‘Prisoners or Patients?’ – Exhibition now online!

In 2019 National Records of Scotland (NRS) partnered with Professor Rab Houston of the University of St Andrews, to explore the records of those people committed to the Criminal Lunatic Department in Perth, and produced the Fringe Festival exhibition ‘Prisoners or Patients? Criminal Insanity in Victorian Scotland’. This exhibition focused on the records amassed in … Continue reading ‘Prisoners or Patients?’ – Exhibition now online!

“A Lightbulb Moment” – Professor Rab Houston on Criminal Insanity in Victorian Scotland

The records and stories featured in our recent exhibition “Prisoners or Patients? Criminal Insanity in Victorian Scotland” are now available to view online  for the first time. Here Professor Rab Houston, who worked with National Records of Scotland to create and curate this exhibition, explains what first interested him in the project and how he … Continue reading “A Lightbulb Moment” – Professor Rab Houston on Criminal Insanity in Victorian Scotland