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The Cold War in Scotland: Technology, Heritage and the British Warfare State

Last updated: 8 February 2022

About the research

The project draws on objects from across National Museums Scotland, including Scottish late modern, military, technology, and, especially, aviation. Assessing material from 1947–1991, the project explores provenance, acquisition, and (where relevant) mode of display of both civilian and military objects (such as civilian and military aeroplanes, typewriters, computers and missiles).

In doing so the project aims to tackle the fundamental issue of the material legacies and heritage of the Cold War in Scotland: how does a (civilian) object become a Cold War object? And what are the implications of this civil/military dichotomy for museum exhibitions and engagement?


Lead image: Sparrow or Skyflash airborne missile capable of attacking both sub and supersonic targets at high or low altitudes, manufactured by Hawker Siddeley Dynamics in conjunction with Marconi and EMI in the UK, c. 1978.

Doctoral research project details

Project title

The Cold War in Scotland: Technology, Heritage and the British Warfare State


Sarah Harper

Project active

2018 - present


AHRC Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium (SCHC) – Collaborative Doctoral Partnership

University of Stirling Supervisors

Professor Holger Nehring and Professor Sian Jones - History and Politics

National Museums Scotland Supervisors

Dr Sam AlbertiDepartment of Science & Technology, and Dorothy Kidd - Department of Scottish History & Archaeology

Research theme

Scotland's Material Heritage

Email icon Dr Sam Alberti, FRSE

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