The Archival Detective

When the John Murray Archive (JMA) arrived at the National Library of Scotland in 2006, approximately 17,500 individuals had been identified as having an item relating to them in the archive. For each of these, their full name, dates and epithet (a little descriptive detail in order to distinguish that particular person) needs to be […]

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Monster making in 1816

“We shall each write a ghost story” was Lord Byron’s challenge to his guests at Villa Diodati near Geneva in the summer of 1816. This competition would eventually produce two of the greatest gothic novels; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819). 

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Scottish cricket books

As summer is here we thought it was a good time to showcase items on Scottish cricket from the collections. Although not the first sport you might associate with Scotland, cricket in Scotland has a long and fascinating history. We also have more Scottish cricket items in the collections than you might expect. The collections […]

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Election fever 1880s-style

Voters in Scotland went to the polls last week to elect a new Scottish Parliament; a recent Library purchase of satirical cartoons of Liberal politician William Ewart Gladstone gives us a humorous view of political campaigning over 130 years ago. This was a time when politicians could not use social media, or TV and radio […]

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Scottish Poorhouses

The Poor Law (Scotland) Act 1845 set up parochial boards in towns and rural areas and a Board of Supervision in Edinburgh. One of their purposes was to build poorhouses for those paupers who were not eligible for ‘outdoor relief’, which consisted of small sums of money given out weekly. The Board of Supervision published […]

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How you can use our maps

Our readers buy maps from us for a range of reasons. Some people want to hang the map on their living room wall. Others might use it in a planning application. We also get quite a number of readers using map images in books. Recently we had a member of Scottish Brewing Heritage contact us and […]

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