Sun-pictures and beyond

Scotland and the photographically illustrated book 1845-1900 In October 1844 Henry Talbot, the inventor of the calotype negative (Talbotype) process of photography travelled to Scotland along with Nicolaas Henneman, his former valet who was now running his own Talbotype establishment in Reading. Talbot, with the aid of Henneman, was planning to take photographs to illustrate […]

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Mapping Slavery

It shocks many people to learn that when in 1833, the British Parliament finally abolished slavery in various parts of the British Empire, those most closely involved in the trade received huge sums of money in compensation. It has been estimated that of the £20 million compensation payments, half remained in Great Britain, with the […]

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Scottish Catholic records

If you are interested in researching your Catholic ancestors in Scotland then Andrew R. Nicoll’s book “Scottish Catholic Family History: a family historian’s guide to Catholic parish registers and cemetery records for Scotland and the Bishopric of the Forces” (2011) provides a good starting point. It provides details of what records are available, where they […]

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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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