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
On World Digital Preservation Day, archivist Eve Wright (below right, with NRS digital capacity planning lead Joanne Watson) tells us how NRS is working to record Scotland's records for the future - both records that are created on paper and in other formats... Today marks World Digital Preservation Day where institutions around the world advocate … Continue reading We Don’t Just Do Paper: Depositing Digital Records
“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 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
NRS Registration casework officer Rachael Lloyd looked more deeply into intriguing entries in our registers and uncovered a surprising tale of slavery, service and freedom in nineteenth century Scotland... Malvina Wells was born around 1805, on the Island of Carriacou in Grenada. She was born into slavery, and although she will have been far … Continue reading Voices from our Archives: Malvina Wells, c.1805 – 1887
While awaiting his trial for assault in 1853, David Brook was temporarily incarcerated at Kirkcudbright Prison where he evidently took great care to secure the good opinion of the Prison Keeper, James Clark. Of his charge Clark wrote: ‘His general conduct is good. He is quite willing to work. He can write and that is … Continue reading The Dummy Dodge – Part 2
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?
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