A little while ago, we said to ourselves “Wouldn’t it be nice to get Scran off the computer screen and into the real world?”, and thanks to our friends at Morningside Library in Edinburgh, we’ve done just that.
The staff at the library kindly allowed us to use their Charles Smith Room, located upstairs at the branch and usually filled by exhibitions by local artists. In it, we’ve hung 19 prints of Scran images of the local area from the archives of the National Museums of Scotland, The Scotsman and RCAHMS. These date from 1915 to 1979, and depict a bygone age when trams were still drawn by horses, kindly lollipop men helped children across busy junctions and Morningside Station was still a regular stop on the Edinburgh Suburban line. We worked with Bruntsfield Primary school and the Open Door Centre to choose some of the images, as well as the library staff themselves. The exhibition is free, and finishes on October 30th 2015.
All library card holders in Edinburgh can access Scran for free, 24/7, as can residents of 24 out of 32 local authorities in Scotland, and we hope to repeat this at other branch libraries throughout the country, with local residents and schools helping to choose their favourite local images. If you’re a school, library or community centre and you’re interested in hosting a similar exhibition showcasing your local area, then contact us.
Image: ©The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk
Scran shares its images with the Good Neighbour Club at The Open Door in Edinburgh
The Open Door, is a vibrant social centre in the capital’s Morningside. It runs a successful cafe and offers day services and art and creative writing groups for older people, people with mental health issues and other vulnerable people. The Good Neighbours Club meets here every Tuesday.
Scran was invited to join the group to present a slideshow showcasing local content from the Scran website. Eighteenth-century maps and early photographs from our RCAHMS collections took us back to a time when Morningside was simply described as ‘a row of thatched cottages, a line of trees and a blacksmith’s forge’. Photographs from our Scotsman collections led us through 20th-century Morningside where we encountered steam trains and trams and the sad demise of Morningside Road Station. Shops on Morningside Road, schools, cinemas and public houses all featured. The session stirred some interesting chat about school days, wartime evacuation and local dance halls.
It was exciting to discover that The Open Door’s premises are situated adjacent to the former site of the railway station and exiting the building via a side door brought us bang up to date as we were privy to views of the deserted old station platform and the former ticket office, now the home of a chartered accountants and a newsagents.
Scran is a rich source of material for reminiscence practice. Our 20th century social history collections include The Scotsman Publications Ltd, Hulton Getty and the Scottish Life Archive. There’s also audio and video material available. Reminiscence Kits on Scran offer curated collections of images on themes such as Tenement Life, Stars of the Movies and Man on the Moon.
For more images of Morningside through history have a look at our Pathfinder: Looking Back at Morningside, Edinburgh.
Image © The Scotsman Publications Ltd, Station Master and Head Driver tend flower beds at Morningside Road Station, Edinburgh. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk