Museum blog

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8 May 2020

Merchant Seamen death records are key resources for anyone hoping to understand the history of the Merchant Navy during the Second World War.

The British Empire blog

28 April 2020

In this blog we uncover some of the stories which our archives can tell us of the dangers of working in the British Empire in the service of the East India Company.

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3 February 2020

In March 2016 I released a Call for Participation asking Royal Navy personnel to share their stories of shipboard entertainment. One naval theatrical tradition I wanted to learn more about was ‘Crossing the Line’.

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21 January 2020

As long as there have been military campaigns there has been espionage. Here we look at some examples of written intelligence from spies which can be found in the Caird Library and Archive. 

HMS Campeltown at St Nazaire

14 January 2020

This month we look into Archive and Library item ADL/Q/72, papers relating to the award of the Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant R.T.C. Worsley DSC, RNVR, for bravery while serving as a Gunnery Officer aboard MGB314, in March 1942 participating in ‘Operation Chariot’.

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19 December 2019

When tucking into your Christmas lunch this year, spare a thought for how polar explorers of the heroic age celebrated Christmas.

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12 December 2019

The personal diary of a Royal Navy commander’s wife offers a striking insight into the lives of the British ruling classes in 1920s India and Sri Lanka.

Nuisance helping himself to a full bench on the train

4 November 2019

The Caird Library’s archive collection contains numerous captivating stories of naval service from letters written by famous Admirals to journals kept by ordinary seamen. One of the more unusual instances of this is “Just Nuisance”: Life story of an able seaman who leads a dog’s life written by Leslie M. Steyn (RMG ID: LIS/15/4). 

Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn, 1772-1853

22 October 2019

With Napoleon Bonaparte having surrendered to British forces following his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo it was decided to send him into exile once again, this time to the remote South Atlantic island of St Helena. Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn was given the task of transporting the former Emperor to the island on board HMS Northumberland and the Caird Library and Archive holds an extract from his journal (RMG ID: COC/9) covering these events.

Cover of the personal journal written by Gilbert James Inglis

14 October 2019

October’s item of the month is a personal journal written by Gilbert James Inglis. He served as purser on board the convict ship Duchess of Northumberland and kept a diary on a voyage from London to Hobart, November 1852 to April 1853 (RMG ID: JOD/150)

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