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Category: Political Science & Politics, National Library of Scotland

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Propaganda – A Weapon of War is a small snapshot of Second World War propaganda that can be found in the National Library of Scotland’s collections.

Between 1939 and 1945, both Allied and Axis Governments greatly influenced wartime behaviour and attitudes through propaganda. This took various forms: the printed word and pictorial leaflets, radio broadcasts and cinema and poster campaigns.

White propaganda was mostly practical information intended for the Home Front. Black propaganda targeted enemy morale, and there was a strong Scottish involvement in the clandestine organisation that developed it – the Political Warfare Executive.

On this website you'll find examples of British Government propaganda, from 'Make do and Mend' to 'Tag und Nacht'.

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At 2am on Wednesday 8 February 1587, Mary Queen of Scots picked up her pen for the last time. Her execution on the block at Fotheringhay Castle was a mere six hours away when she wrote this letter. It is addressed to Henri III of France, brother of her first husband.

As well as the English translation, Mary's last written words are available here in a French transcription. You can also read the historical background to this letter.

The letter is part of the National Library of Scotland's manuscript collections. (NLS reference: Adv.MS.54.1.1)

Shown here is an image of Mary shortly after her marriage in 1558. With her is her husband, Francois. As eldest son of the French King, he took the title of Dauphin (or 'Dolphin') of France. He became king in 1559.

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This exploration of the life of Sir Winston Churchill has been created by the National Library of Scotland and the Churchill Archives Centre, and is based on a major exhibition in the National Library of Scotland in the summer of 1999. It uses original documents and photographs to tell the story of one of the twentieth century's most important figures.

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A GUID Cause, The Women's Suffrage Movement in Scotland - Their struggles for change withing society About This resource will help you to discover more about the history of the women's suffrage movement in Scotland by exploring and investigating archive sources from the National Library of Scotland's collections. Developed by teachers The projects and learning activities have been developed by teachers specifically for use by secondary school pupils and teachers. The activities support the outcomes, experiences and capacities outlined in the Curriculum for Excellence. Activities and research The sources section contains a selection of archive material, including photographs, newspaper articles and diary entries, which help tell the story of women's suffrage in Scotland.

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In the centuries before there were newspapers and 24-hour news channels, the general public had to rely on street literature to find out what was going on. The most popular form of this for nearly 300 years was 'broadsides' - the tabloids of their day. Sometimes pinned up on walls in houses and ale-houses, these single sheets carried public notices, news, speeches and songs that could be read (or sung) aloud.

The National Library of Scotland's online collection of nearly 1,800 broadsides lets you see for yourself what 'the word on the street' was in Scotland between 1650 and 1910. Crime, politics, romance, emigration, humour, tragedy, royalty and superstitions - all these and more are here.

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813 reads