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Collecting the Nation: Scottish history, patriotism and antiquarianism after Scott, (1832-91)

Dr Julie Holder successfully defended their thesis in May 2021 after 4 years as a PhD student at the University of Glasgow and co-supervised by National Museums Scotland.

Last updated: 8 February 2022

About the research

From 1832 to 1892 interpretations of the Scottish past were contested and debated in both academic and public spaces. In 1832, the father of Scottish antiquarianism Sir Walter Scott died. Like many Scottish antiquaries, he was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, which had established a museum in Edinburgh. The Society’s collections were transferred to the nation in 1851. By 1891, the museum had become the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland and in 1892, had published the entire Scottish collection in a comprehensive, illustrated catalogue.

The project examined the relationships between collecting, representing and writing about the Scottish past during this period in relation to concepts of Scottish nationhood and history. By researching the archives and publications of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Julie assessed how material artefacts were used as evidence to represent and write Scottish history. The project also considered the influence of methods and ideas from Scandinavia, Europe and the rest of Britain on collecting, representing and writing national histories.

 

Lead image: Joseph Anderson, Keeper of the Museum of Antiquities, with its displays in the Royal Institution, c.1890.

Doctoral research project details

Project title

Collecting the Nation: Scottish history, patriotism and antiquarianism after Scott, (1832-91)

Student

Dr Julie Holder

Project active

2017 - 2021

Funder

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

University of Glasgow Supervisors

Dr Catriona Macdonald and Prof. Dauvit Broun - School of Humanities

National Museums Scotland Supervisors

Dr Stuart Allan and Dr Fraser HunterScottish History & Archaeology

Research theme

Scotland's Material Heritage

Alternate Text

Blog posts by Julie Holder

Read about some of Julie Holder's work examining the archives and publications of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

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