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Category: Geography & Maps, National Library of Scotland

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The Kirk Papers is a collection of photographs and papers belonging to East Africa pioneer Sir John Kirk. It was acquired for the National Library of Scotland in 1998/1999 with the help of a grant of £55,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Though not as well-known as his friend and fellow-explorer David Livingstone, Kirk was a trail-blazer of empire in East Africa and a man of eminence in his day. Born in Barry, Angus, in 1832, Kirk qualified in medicine at Edinburgh University and then volunteered for medical service in the Crimea. An accomplished botanist, zoologist and diplomat, he was also a talented photographer. This is evident from the collection of over 250 photographs, many of them stunning.

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In 1693 the first ever pictorial survey of Scotland was published by military engineer John Slezer.

'Theatrum Scotiae' is his volume of detailed engravings that shows us what important Scottish towns and buildings looked like over 300 years ago.
Search and browse images

More than 70 of Slezer's original engravings from the National Library of Scotland's collections have been digitised. You can search for them here by place name, and browse by place and subject.

There is text from Slezer's book with most of our zoom-and-pan images, and we give links to relevant online maps.

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283 reads

Mapmaking and printing from 1820 to 2002

The Bartholomew Archive is the remarkable record of the Edinburgh-based firm of map engravers, printers and publishers, John Bartholomew & Son Ltd. It is one of the most extensive cartographic archives available for research in a public institution.

Members of the Bartholomew family were engaged in map-making from the first known map engraving work of George Bartholomew in 1825. John Bartholomew junior started printing operations before 1870. For more than a century afterwards the Bartholomew firm specialised in high-quality map production.
Importance of the archive

The Bartholomew Archive enables us to:

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280 reads

These two albums of the Edinburgh Calotype Club, the first photographic club in the world, are among the earliest photograph albums in the world ever assembled. They contain over 300 images by a group of pioneering Scottish photographers working in Edinburgh and St. Andrews.

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236 reads

About 'Maps of Scotland' In our 'Maps of Scotland' resource you can access and view over 20,000 maps as high-resolution, colour, zoomable images. The maps date between 1560 and 1935 and we have grouped them into several categories. Browse by category The easiest way of finding material is to browse by category . The maps vary in the amount of detail they offer: You can also browse the maps by the names of map-makers, surveyors and engravers . Sets of county maps We have several altases online with sets of county maps : Military maps Another category is of maps made for military purposes , especially those from the 18th century. These include the famous Roy Military Survey of Scotland .

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For hundreds of years, Scots have left their homeland to set up a new life overseas.

Here we tell six stories of emigration from Scotland between the 1770s and the 1930s:

* Flora MacDonald – of 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' fame – and her husband Allan from Skye
* John and Mary Salmond from Montrose
* John and Martha Kerr from Dalry
* Peter Hastie from Edinburgh
* Alexander MacArthur from Nairn
* George Anderson from Innerleithen
* George and Jane Oliver from Hawick.

Original letters and journals

Using letters, journals, official documents, photographs and maps from the National Library of Scotland's archives, we piece together a picture of Scots abroad.

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