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

Why is life expectancy stalling in Scotland?

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?

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

The ‘Iolaire’ Disaster 1 January 1919

The Admirality yacht HMY Iolaire under the name "Amalthaea", Ness Historical Society, via Wikimedia CommonsThe first day of the New Year of 1919 brought tragedy to the Island of Lewis, when the naval yacht ‘Iolaire’ crashed onto rocks in the approaches to the harbour of Stornoway. Of the official total of 284 naval crew and … Continue reading The ‘Iolaire’ Disaster 1 January 1919

Christmas: Banned in Scotland!

Christmas is now well established in Scotland as a time for giving, enjoying the company of loved ones, decorating the Christmas tree and of course, indulging in some Christmas feasting! But until relatively recently, Scotland did not celebrate Christmas, at least, not openly. For over 400 years, Christmas was frowned upon in Scotland and its … Continue reading Christmas: Banned in Scotland!