Birds nest manuscript – National Records of Scotland

Shredded historical documents used to line a birds nest.This is interesting …and weird!

FYI: the exchequer office was, I believe, located in the building which now houses the Supreme Courts Library. Maybe the SCTS Library Service should keep an eye out for jackdaws!

Or, you could have a look for yourself when you attend the next SWOP meeting being hosted there! (see what I did?)

Open Book

We have a number of curiosities in our archives, but one of the odder items is the contents of a birds’ nest.

No ordinary nest, this one, found in the roof of St Giles Cathedral in 1961, was lined with papers from Scotland’s exchequer records.

Shredded historical documents used to line a birds nest. The contents of a birds nest found in St Giles cathedral by Dr Athol Murray.

Keeper of the Records of Scotland from 1985-1990 Dr Athol Murray identified the documents. He takes up the story:

“In 1961 The Scottish Record Office received some papers found by electricians in the roof space of St Giles Cathedral.

“A few were complete, including a copy of the Edinburgh Court from the 1770s, and I recognised others as being torn bits of exchequer documents, mainly eighteenth century.

“I was sent up to have a look around and found more torn papers surrounded by masses and masses of twigs and general…

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