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Christmas Number social history is digitised


By Chris Saunderson


THE social history of Moray through the images and words of The Northern Scot is being captured and shared in digital form.

Elgin Library Heritage Officer Scott Reid digitising old Christmas Numbers from Wold War 1.Picture: Eric Cormack. Image No. (043463).
Elgin Library Heritage Officer Scott Reid digitising old Christmas Numbers from Wold War 1.Picture: Eric Cormack. Image No. (043463).

Your favourite local newspaper first published its popular Christmas Number magazines in 1896.

Sadly, they disappeared in the mid-1980s but a large back catalogue of magazines remain in the possession of the Moray heritage service upstairs at Elgin Library.

With the help of a £10,000 Scottish Government grant to purchase a metis scanner, the painstaking job of digitising the magazines has been going on for the last few months.

Scott Reid, local heritage officer, and other volunteers have made digital copies of all the Christmas Numbers from 1914, 1915, 1916 and 1919.

"They are so popular with people that the magazines have started to show some wear and tear, so gradually the aim is to digitise them," said Mr Reid.

"At the moment the war years are there on a new website. The Christmas Number wasn't produced in 1917 or 1918.

"I think they are brilliant and it is so good to look at what life was like in Moray during the war."

The Christmas Number looked back at the year that had just gone, mainly through pictures.

The digitised versions can be viewed at https://nscn1919.weebly.com/

More information on the project will be available at heritage open day tomorrow at Elgin Library from 10am to 4pm.

The National Library of Scotland will also be there, looking at the history of Scottish food. It will be running two family workshops based around crafts and activities, from 10.30-11.30am and 2-3pm.

Professor Peter Reid, of Robert Gordon University, will also give a talk on Norwegian refugees who came to Buckie and other parts of Moray during World War 2.

There will also be the chance to find out how you can research your family history.

Admission to the open day is free but places must be booked in advance for the workshops and other sessions. This can be done by contacting Elgin Library.



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