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Shredded historical documents used to line a birds nest.This is interesting …and weird!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Shredded historical documents used to line a birds nest.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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Survey into the use of archives by teachers in Scotland



Survey into the use of archives by teachers in Scotland

An AHRC/Clore Leadership Programme funded research project, is investigating the use of archives in teaching.

The aim of the research is to analyse the current audience for archives and to identify any ‘barriers’ to access. The findings will enable archivists to improve access and support more teachers in their use of archives.

Teachers have been selected because they are an important group of current or potential archives users, working in primary and secondary schools throughout Scotland with young people from all backgrounds.

Curriculum for Excellence and National Qualifications provide a framework for teachers to develop particular skills, attributes and capabilities in and with their pupils. Using archives is one way of teaching and developing many of these skills.

Please take the time to complete this survey and also promote it to colleagues as widely as possible.

An electronic version of the survey can be completed at:

Please submit your responses by 30 November 2015.


Alison Diamond BD(Hons)
MA Archive Administration RMARA FRSA

Dublin city libraries & archives

Paulette Hill is visiting Dublin this weekend (lucky lady) and wanted to share this info with SWOP:

Original cartoon by Thomas Fitzpatrick, founder of The Lepracaun Cartoon MonthlyI doubt that I’ll get time to visit any of the Dublin city libraries & archives as they will be closed over the Easter weekend, but in case of interest, here’s a link to their Commemorative Projects – The Great War – online, exhibitions, and lectures –  which might be of interest to SWOP members

Happy Easter!


I like the look of The Lepracaun cartoons: 1905-1915. Thanks Paulette  🙂