The Harry Lauder Million Pound Fund

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

Exhibition: Prisoners or Patients?

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 Grand Day Out

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

Voices From Our Archives: The George Square Riot, 1919

“Suddenly, without warning, police made a savage, totally unexpected assault on the rear of the meeting, smashing right and left with their batons…” Willie Gallacher, Revolt on the Clyde, 1936 Recently-opened papers in the National Records of Scotland archive reveal the inside story of the George Square Riot of 1919 – a violent and shocking … Continue reading Voices From Our Archives: The George Square Riot, 1919

From the NRS Archives: Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587)

The movie Mary, Queen of Scots starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie premieres today in Edinburgh, so we asked NRS archivist Dr Alison Rosie to look at the real Mary I and at what our records reveal about the Kingdom of Scotland’s most famous and (spoilers!) tragic Queen. National Records of Scotland holds many documents which … Continue reading From the NRS Archives: Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587)

From the NRS Archives: The Crime That Shook Glasgow, 1916

Court papers and a striking crime scene map reveal how an everyday argument between neighbours culminated in a terrifying explosion and the arrest of a wounded war veteran for the murder of three people. NRS project cataloguers working on records of the Military Pensions Appeal Tribunal recently discovered the case of a former soldier who had … Continue reading From the NRS Archives: The Crime That Shook Glasgow, 1916

From the NRS Archives: Servicemen in Scotland’s Asylums, August 1918

Now released after 100 years, asylum admission records shed light on the treatment of civilians and soldiers suffering from mental health conditions. Shell shock – a contemporary term used to describe the psychological trauma experienced by soldiers who fought on the battlefields of the First World War – is familiar from documentaries, movies and novels. … Continue reading From the NRS Archives: Servicemen in Scotland’s Asylums, August 1918

Conservation – A Volume 500 Years In The Making

From today until the end of November, a facsimile of the 500-year-old Halyburton Ledger will be on display and free to view at General Register House.   Ahead of his free talk about the Ledger this Friday, NRS Conservator Peter Dickson tells us how he made a facsimile of the volume and what he learned about … Continue reading Conservation – A Volume 500 Years In The Making

A Very Arduous Period – The Register Houses During WWI, with Dr Tristram Clarke

  In the last of our three World War One podcasts, NRS Head of Outreach Dr Tristram Clarke looks at the forgotten stories of the men who exchanged their pens and desks in Edinburgh's Register Houses for rifles and helmets in France, Flanders and the Dardanelles, some never to return. He also explores the contribution of those who … Continue reading A Very Arduous Period – The Register Houses During WWI, with Dr Tristram Clarke

The Register House Roll of Honour, 1914 -1918

Inside General Register House at the east end of Princes Street in Edinburgh, there is a small plaque which commemorates Charles Whitehead Yule, an assistant curator in the historical department who was killed in action during the First World War. While researching an article about Charles Yule, Dr Tristram Clarke – Head of Outreach here at … Continue reading The Register House Roll of Honour, 1914 -1918