Maps with a sense of the past: what are synthetic maps, and why do we love them?

by Chris Fleet, Zekun Li, Katie McDonough, and Valeria Vitale. Maps are excellent documentary sources for understanding the history of the landscape, including past human activities and former physical environments. Many organizations have scanned tens of thousands of historical maps and shared them online. For example, the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Collection scanned by the […]

Read More

Zoom into Glasgow City

Collated by Jamie McIntosh. The final local authority area of our current Zoom Into series takes us to Glasgow, Scotland’s most populous city. Glasgow is situated in the west of the central belt area of the lowlands, and its city centre is dominated by the River Clyde. Glasgow’s position provides easy access to the greenery of the Loch […]

Read More

Preserving Pasts, Imagining Futures

In the run-up to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, Glasgow, 31 October – 12 November 2021 (COP26), the National Galleries of Scotland and National Library of Scotland are inviting you to respond creatively to works from the national collections to visualise how Scotland has been and will continue to be impacted by climate change, unless decisive action is taken. 

Read More

Zoom Into Edinburgh City

What do you think of when you think of the city of Edinburgh? Perhaps the ancient castle looming over the city from Castle Rock. Or the plethora of festivals that take place in the city’s streets every year. Maybe you know Scotland’s capital city best as the seat of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. But what else has taken place within […]

Read More

Zoom into Fife

Collated by Peter Findlay. Aince a muckle pairt o Scotland’s industrial hertlaund, I recently heard “Fife” cried, “Scotland’s enchanting kingdom.” Ye micht be gast frae this nameliheid, hooiver, juist hae anither keek at this region afore makin judgement. For at truly is a pairt o oor country, whaur baith Fifers and veesitors alike, can gang on a byous an timeless journey o discovery. Believe me, […]

Read More

Zoom into North Lanarkshire

Collated by Charlotte James Robertson.North Lanarkshire borders the northeast of the City of Glasgow and contains many of Glasgow’s commuter towns. The South of the county has its roots in the historic county of Lanarkshire, which has existed since the time of King David I, ruler of Scotland from 1124 to 1153. In the 18th […]

Read More

Zoom into Highland

Collated by Lucy Church. The Highland Council unitary authority is the largest by area in the UK, covering a third of Scotland’s land area, and 11% of the UK’s. Although it is the 7th largest council in Scotland by population, it has the lowest population density in the country. Its administrative centre is Inverness, but there […]

Read More

Zoom into Aberdeen City

Aberdeen City sits on the north-east coast of Scotland, north of the River Dee and south of the River Don. Aberdeen is often referred to the Granite or Silver City as the buildings were built with granite that has a high mica content (mica is a natural mineral that is typically very shiny or shimmery). […]

Read More

Zoom into West Lothian

Collated by Charlotte James Robertson.   West Lothian is one of Scotland’s thirty-two unitary authorities; it is also one of the historic counties. It lies on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and is predominantly rural, though there were extensive coal, iron, and shale oil mining operations in the 19th and 20th centuries. The old county town […]

Read More