Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Tuesday, July 28

Spent a quiet morning in Dalkeith before packing up and heading out to my hotel at the airport. My cab ride was interesting as my driver was a Scotsman who was heading to New York City for a visit. I shared some tips I had on staying in NYC and he reciprocated with information about Edinburgh.

Our next group stop was the National Archives of Scotland. This handsome "purpose built" building now houses the Archives and the Scotlands People Centre and features a beautiful dome designed by Adam. Our guide was the charming and personable Margaret MacBride who shared loads of information with us. Ms. MacBride told us that the Archives maintain "over 70 kilometres of shelving, [with items from] from the 12th century to the 21st century ". These bibliographic records include court and legal documents, wills and testaments, maps, photographs, plus much more. This centre is used by writers, genealogists from all over the world, and "interested citizens". Ms. MacBride also shared information with us about websites operated by the NAS, including and

Several treasures from the collection were displayed for our perusal. These included papers from a suffragette, loans made to Scots natives who purchased land in the United States (specifically in Mississippi in honor of our class), and court records from the hearings and trial of the infamous duo of Burke and Hare who were responsible for many murders in the Edinburgh area. The pair then profited by selling the corpses to the medical college for dissection purposes.

After an interesting session at the NAS, Jessica, Christina and I walked through Edinburgh to the Hard Rock Cafe. It was nice to relax with a big Coke in an ice-filled glass and enjoy the memorabilia and good food featured at the HRC. The bus carried me back to my airport hotel where I prepared to head to back to London.

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