Seals, slashes and stamps

Although there are many fascinating stories and events depicted in the content of letters, legal documents, ledgers and manuscripts, sometimes the physical nature of the record will enlighten readers about the origin of the document, its use, or give clues to or about the author. So, it can be interesting to take a closer look […]

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Eyewitnesses to conflict in China

EYEWITNESSES TO CONFLICT IN CHINA The Church of Scotland Overseas Mission archive at the National Library of Scotland is a rich resource for missionary endeavour throughout the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Of course, in addition to the Church of Scotland, many Scots chose to serve with other British missionary societies, and the library’s collections include […]

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Researching the ‘Chimney Map’

From March 2016 to March 2017, the Library’s Conservation Unit undertook an ambitious project to conserve an extremely fragmentary map, resulting in unprecedented amounts of publicity. The map, known as the ‘Chimney Map’ because it was originally thought to have been found inside a chimney, was discovered during renovations at a house in Aberdeenshire, and […]

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A closer look – using the new stereomicroscope to examine and characterise the Photographic Collections of the National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland has in its holdings an amazing collection of photographs and photographic albums. The collections tell the story of the medium before its official announcement in 1839, its first use to illustrate books, and its rapid development throughout the 20th century. The preservation of photographs requires specialized knowledge in order to […]

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