Fringe Festival Exhibition – ‘Prisoners or Patients? Criminal Insanity in Victorian Scotland’

‘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’

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

Register House and New Edinburgh

Enthusiasts for the Georgian first New Town of Edinburgh sometimes called it New Edinburgh. Anyone who called it this knew that Register House was its most important building, as it remains today. As the home to our country’s archival history, this building plays an important role in celebrating the Scottish Enlightenment for both citizens and … Continue reading Register House and New Edinburgh

From the NRS Archives: The Douglas Cause

Heir Hunters, 18th century style 250 years ago today, Britain was gripped by a scandalous court case that divided the nation. On one side: those who supported Archibald Douglas as the legal heir to his uncle, the Duke of Douglas. Ranged against them, those supporting the rival claim of the Duke of Hamilton, who believed … Continue reading From the NRS Archives: The Douglas Cause

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