School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Representations of Scotland

Dig It! 2015

The School of History, Classics and Archaeology (HCA) played host to a one-day conference for secondary school teachers across Scotland looking at visualisation and representation of Scotland from medieval times to the present day.

Held in the inspiring National Museum of Scotland on Saturday, 26 April, 'Mapping the nation: representations of Scotland, 1200-2000' brought together teachers of history and literature in Scottish secondary schools for a full day of presentations, workshops and discussion.

The conference, co-hosted by the University of Edinburgh and the National Library of Scotland, explored the multiple ways in which Scotland has been visualized and represented from medieval times through the days of Empire to the present day through cartography, history, and literature.

This collaborative knowledge exchange event was made possible thanks to generous funding from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Raising awareness amongst teachers

Organised by Dr Anna Groundwater, HCA’s Coordinator of Graduate Methods Training, and Chris Fleet, Senior Maps Curator at the National Library of Scotland, the conference had two main objectives:

  • To widen awareness amongst history teachers of the wealth of resources available, particularly online, as a result of academic research, and digitization projects by museums and archives.
  • To showcase ongoing collaborative projects between HEIs, cultural and heritage institutions and school teachers, with the aim of encouraging future collaborations.

Speakers included representatives from Digimap for Schools; Maps, National Library of Scotland; EDINA; National Records of Scotland and DigIt! 2015, year of archaeology in Scotland.

Collaborations and further learning

Dr Groundwater suggested that teachers and academics who would like to explore collaborations signed up to the Scottish History Society’s collaborative Google group, whilst teachers highlighted that their learners valued interaction with academics prior to making applications to university.

The ‘Mapping the nation’ blog site ran for the duration of the project for participants to suggest themes for discussion and to promote further collaboration and engagement after the event.

A memory stick bringing together resources, power points, and suggestions from the conference is available for use by teachers, or by learners to explore Scotland’s past.

Further information

For more information on the conference or resources contact Dr Anna Groundwater.

Dr Anna Groundwater

Co-ordinator of Graduate Methods Training

  • School of History, Classics and Archaeology
  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details