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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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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Tam Dalyell: the shipping news

When Tam Dalyell, the distinguished politician, died in January, I fell to reminiscing about his long public service. As is often the case, appreciation of a person’s qualities is heightened by their sudden departure; too late for delivering a message personally, we are inspired to write about them instead. I could focus on his detestation […]

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Surviving Emotions

One of the best things about working with archives is finding records that give a real sense of the personality of the writer.  There are many examples of this throughout the John Murray Archive, an archive that spans over two hundred years.  The letters written to the successive heads of the publishing house regularly take a personal […]

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Charity Bazaars in Scotland

The word ‘bazaar’ was first used to describe a sale of work in 1813 in London and spread throughout the developed world in the 19th century. By the 1870s they were huge extravaganzas lasting several days, with entertainments, such as puppet shows, theatrical performances and displays of novelties such as electric light,

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