Old Declaration, New Discovery

Dr Alan Borthwick is giving a talk today at the Declaration of Arbroath International Conference at Newbattle Abbey College. Today, Alan updates us on the most recent work with the Declaration – and demonstrates that, even after seven centuries, conservation work and research on items in our archives are still revealing new surprises… The only surviving … Continue reading Old Declaration, New Discovery

Church records – Reform, dissension and coals for the poor

National Records of Scotland recently added over one million images from the kirk session records to our ancestry research service ScotlandsPeople, now free to search and view. With over 6,000 volumes now online, these church records offer a fantastic insight into the lives of people in Scotland spanning almost 350 years. Our colleagues work with … Continue reading Church records – Reform, dissension and coals for the poor

Conservation of a Sketchbook

Detail: Ilan Dun from the Village, showing the cragsmen of St Kilda (NRS: GD41/598) Sir Thomas Dick Lauder was an administrator in manufacturing and fisheries during the 1840s, required to travel extensively around Scotland’s coasts. In his journeys, he sketched detailed scenes of the coastlines and fishing villages he visited. NRS Conservator Jackie Thorburn has … Continue reading Conservation of a Sketchbook

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

We Don’t Just Do Paper: Depositing Digital Records

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”

“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”

“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

Voices from our Archives: Malvina Wells, c.1805 – 1887

  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

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?