Are exams getting easier?

As many young people across Scotland await their exam results the National Library of Scotland is giving you an opportunity to look at the Scottish schools exam papers of bygone years. The digitised exam papers for the School Leavers Certificate from 1889-1961 and the Scottish Certificate of Education 1962-63 and these are now available 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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