The Bartholomew Archive Project comes to an end

Posted 31 March, 2014 13:04 by Karla Baker | Permalink

Today, we mark the end of six-years of work on the Bartholomew Archive, funded by the John R. Murray Charitable Trust.

During this time the Trust have funded seven posts, all of which have targeted specific aspects of this internationally-significant collection of cartographic business papers, manuscript maps, copper plates, tools and oh so much more.

Between them, our preservation technicians Lynda Conlon and Robert Harold, hand-made over 250 boxes to house Bartholomew’s own archive of its printed output, dating from 1877-1960. They disbound the original volumes and refoliated each individual item onto an acid free backing, handling well over 26,000  items. They also contributed some insightful pieces to this very blog, including When Printing Goes Bad and Acid Transfer in Paper. Their work means this unique resource will survive for the enjoyment of future generations for a long time yet.

Susan Woodburn was the Archive’s Curator at the start of the Project. Susan had the dauting task of sorting through the over 110 metres of business archive papers, housing it and producing a detailed inventory to enable access. Susan also worked with other components of the Archive, including producing the helpful listing of the maps and plans section. Susan’s inventories can be found on the Bartholomew Archive website and act as the key to unlocking the treasures of this diverse collection. Susan also compiled the majority of the Bartholomew Archive website content, launched at the beginning of the Project, as a vital way of alerting everyone to our existence and promoting access to the collection.

Simona Cenci and Amy Baldwin worked wonders with the complex conservation an archive of this type demands. They contended with wall maps so large they barely fitted into our exhibition space; with copper and steel printing plates; with photographs and with 130-year-old pressed flowers and swatches of tartan, to name but a few. They crafted boxes and housing for some of the Archive’s most vulnerable items that are so ingenious they are works of art in their own right.

Lastly, Helen Symington and I worked to catalogue the Printing Record, creating over 26,000 individual records that are fully searchable via the Bartholomew Archive website. Helen also conducted an audit on the 3000 copperplates in the Archive, ensuring that everything is in its right place.

Over the last six years we have had the privilege to work with one of the most astonishing collections of its kind, anywhere in the world and I have met some of the most interesting and engaging people I know. From members of the Bartholomew family to the firm’s former staff, to Professor Sian Reynolds of the Scottish Working People’s History Trust, who helped us enormously with our oral history project, to our Artists in Residence, Diane Garrick and Tom Pow and of course, the Project funders themselves. We are indebted to the wonderful staff at Hamilton Design and Frame whose expertise encouraged almost 37,000 of you to visit our exhibition, ‘Putting Scotland on the Map’, and to Eskimo, whose sympathetic touch helped us to create our Duncan Street Explorer. Congratulations go out to our PhD students, Dr Amy Prior and Dr Julie McDougall-Waters, both of whom were successfully awarded their Doctorates. And to all the academic researchers, family historians, local historians and the just plain curious, it has been a delight to play a small part in facilitating your fascinating research.

There are of course too many people to mention and we are sorry if you’ve been missed out, however, all of you have played an important part in the story of this Archive and made an enduring contribution to preserving an important piece of our cultural heritage.

The official Project may now be over but work will continue for a short while yet, so do keep following us on the blog and via our Twitter feed (@CartoArchive) for all of our latest news. However, from all Bartholomew Archive Project staff, past and present, thank you all, you’ve been great!


Bartholomew, Biscuits and the First World War

Posted 24 January, 2014 13:04 by Karla Baker | Permalink

As the Project that brings you these posts is due to end in March of this year, I wanted to share with you, whilst I can, some of the more unexpected items I have found in the Printing Record from the First World War.

Like many of us perhaps, my understanding of this brutal conflict is largely derived from the jerky black and white film footage of the trenches and No Man’s Land and the haunting poetry of the time. So, imagine my surprise to discover that for some, this War was also something of a marketing opportunity.

cracker map advertisinf

This attractive item was printed by Bartholomew on 24th November, 1916 for the Leith and Liverpool-based biscuit manufacturer, William Crawford & Sons, Ltd. However, it was not the first thing Bartholomew printed for Crawford; some two years earlier they printed this map.

cracker map.1

Bartholomew printed 50,000 copies of this map on 8th September, 1914. It is a fairly standard Bartholomew map of Europe but repurposed here as advertising for Crawford’s Cream Crackers and branded as ‘Crawford’s War Map’. There’s even room for a little boasting about their biscuits.

cracker map logo

However, it would be entirely unfair to Crawfords to suggest that they alone exploited this opportunity, as another item printed by Bartholomew proves.

carcker map soap

Yes, Sunlight Soap were at it too with Bartholomew producing 25,000 copies of this map on 21 October, 1914.

That maps such as these exist certainly surprised me but perhaps they begin to make sense when considered in context. The Crawford map was published only five weeks after the official outbreak of the War and the Sunlight map came six weeks later. Both maps, then, were produced very early on in the War, a period typically characterised by the belief the War would be ‘over by Christmas’ and volunteering to sign up was still prevalent. So, rather than cynically exploiting the War perhaps these maps reveal something of the confidence that was felt during the first few weeks of the conflict. I find this an interesting perspective. With our benefit of hindsight we can only ever perceive the First World War with the burden of knowing how it unfolded and the horrors that were to come. It is easy to forget that this wasn’t the case for those who lived through it. The tragedy we attach to the First World War sits in stark contrast with the enthusiasm, naivety and matter-of-fact-ness of those who were entering the unknown, a bit of which is captured in maps like these.

Mapping Language

Posted 10 September, 2013 13:04 by Karla Baker | Permalink

A small but significant part of Bartholomew’s printed output consisted of thematic mapping. Thematic maps are used to illustrate the distribution of phenomena, as opposed to the more common topographical map, which is an attempt to reproduce a landscape. Bartholomew’s Printing Record includes thematic maps which show average levels of sunshine, average levels of cloudiness, the distribution of cases of pulmonary tuberculosis and even the cost of posting letters throughout the world. This post is devoted to a different type of thematic map, to language, or linguistic maps.

linguistic Europe

According to ‘Cartographical Innovations’ (1987), an informative book edited by Helen Wallis and Arthur Robinson, the first set of linguistic maps that we would recognise as such date from 1741. Produced by Gottfried Hensel, the four maps of continents show the distribution of written languages. However, it wasn’t until the early part of the nineteenth century that this sort of mapping really took off. By the end of the century, and continuing into the twentieth century, Bartholomew began to produce linguistic maps of their own.

linguistic North America

Bartholomew printed the map of European languages (at the top of the page) on the 28 March, 1931 and the above map, ‘Linguistic Stocks of Indians North of Mexico’, on the 18 August, 1927. The latter is an extremely informative map, showing a particularly complex mix of languages along the west coast of the United States and into Canada.

linguistic North America cropped

Because of the specialist nature of maps like these they were typically destined for specialist publications. Some provided a diversion from the more traditional mapping in general atlases; others supplemented an almost overwhelming amount of information in school atlases whilst others still accompanied papers in specialist publications.

It’s perhaps fair to say that some took the subject more seriously than others. Bartholomew printed a small number of maps for what was known as the Serial Map Service, in the 1940s. They include the map of Central and South America below.

linguistic South America

The Serial Map Service titles are a visually appealing set of maps, but their charm only shines through under closer inspection.

linguistic Central America cropped

Whilst it might be charming, the ability of this map to convey the linguistic information it intended is perhaps debatable.

As well as showing linguistic information for whole continents, these maps could be used to convey the same information for individual countries equally well.

linguisitc india

Bartholomew printed this linguistic map of India on the 6 March, 1940. India also happens to be one of the few markets for which Bartholomew actively produced atlases in native dialect and language groups.

The final map in this sequence was produced by a particular favourite of this blog; the incomparable, the inimitable, Sir Harry H. Johnston. For those not up to speed with Sir Harry, his exploits have been previously recorded in The Empire Strikes Back and Explorations in Equatorial Africa.

linguistic Uganda

Johnston was a naturally gifted linguist and he made a genuine contribution to the field through his study of, and the subsequent publication of his book, the ‘Comparative Study of the Bantu and Semi-Bantu Languages’ (1919). This particular map was printed on the 28 April, 1902, for another book entitled ‘The Uganda Protectorate’. Uganda is part of the extensive area of Africa where Bantu languages and dialects are spoken. The sheer scale of Sir Harry’s work is very neatly demonstrated through both the map and its key.

linguistic Uganda cropped

Bartholomew printed a wide variety of linguistic maps. Some could be academically rigorous, whereas others appear to be for fun. Regardless, the mapping of language, of voices, subtly reminds us of one thing; language plays a fundamental role in giving us a sense of place.

Map advertising during the Second World War

Posted 28 June, 2013 13:04 by Karla Baker | Permalink

Major events, such as the Second World War, created commercial opportunities for cartographic firms like Bartholomew. A heightened demand for knowledge ensured that printed media, such as maps, whether in newspapers, atlases or as special one-off editions, became an important source of information. The Second World War was fought on many fronts, sometimes in far-flung corners of the world, whilst a repercussion of the conflict was the re-drawing of many international borders; under these circumstances, a map was the ideal way to convey up-to-date information succinctly and clearly.

second world war

Bartholomew printed a number of specialist map publications throughout the Second World War. However, the advertising which accompanied them is interesting in its own right. It affords us a tantalising glimpse into life in Britain at this time.

seond world war 6

Some of the advertising makes use of simple, yet striking imagery. The advertisement for ‘Bartholomew’s War Map of the Western Front’ is dominated by a drawing of a surprisingly happy looking tank. At the other end of the spectrum is this advertisement, for two more of Bartholomew’s specialist war-time publications. The stylised map of Europe, adorned with icons that divide the Continent up into its Allied and Belligerent quarters, sends shivers down my spine.

second world war 2

Key elements of Bartholomew’s peace-time mapping were highlighted in their war-time advertisements. The contour-layer colouring employed on these two maps is promoted as one of their most important features. As mentioned in the text for the map of Italy & the Balkans, contour-layer colouring could help clarify issues of strategic importance, in this case through emphasising ‘the natural difficulties attendant on Italy’s Balkan adventure’.

second world war 4

Whilst Bartholomew were readily able to print commercial maps of places overseas, it was very different when it came to maps of the British Isles. As with other map-makers, Bartholomew were subject to the Control of Maps Order. The Control of Maps Order placed restrictions on the sale of maps at certain scales. This instructional leaflet provides further details.

second world war 5

However, as you can see, Bartholomew were able to turn even this to their advantage. With restrictions on the sale of maps at scales greater than one inch to the mile, Bartholomew’s ever-popular half-inch maps were exempt from the Control of Maps Order. Indeed, evidence from Bartholomew’s Printing Record shows that Bartholomew continued to print up-to-date sheets of this series throughout the War, providing the people of Britain with access to reliable information whilst offering a small connection to life during peace-time.

Behind the scenes, Bartholomew made many contributions to the war effort. Many of its staff, particularly their draughtsmen and printers, joined mobile military mapping units, utilising their skills to create maps of the front, on the front, for use by Allied forces. Back at home, Bartholomew’s equipment was commandeered by the War Office, as the firm printed secret maps of Britain, Europe and Asia for an agency called the Geographical Section, General Staff, or GSGS (also known as MI 4).

Through cataloguing the Printing Record, one item at a time, we are beginning to learn more about Bartholomew’s contribution to the War. These advertisements reveal one side of Bartholomew’s war-time work, but it is clear that commercial mapping represented a small proportion of their out-put at this time. Behind the scenes, Bartholomew were quietly getting on with the job of printing secret maps, helping the war effort in their own way.

Duncan Street Explorer goes live!

Posted 19 June, 2013 13:04 by Karla Baker | Permalink


The National Library of Scotland is pleased to announce the launch of its latest web feature, the Duncan Street Explorer.

This innovative site brings together an array of material from the Bartholomew Archive and brings the firm’s final premises, on Duncan Street in Edinburgh, back to life. Original documents, staff photographs, oral history recordings and of course maps, tell the story of what it was like to manage, work for and contribute to this great Scottish map-making firm.


Apprentice draughtsman, James Bain, reveals more about an unsavoury incident involving a rat and an unsuspecting draughtsman’s trouser leg; John Bartholomew Senior writes to his son, John Junior, to encourage him to learn lithography and colourist, Doris Crook, remembers the daunting prospect of the first day of her apprenticeship. We also reveal the unlikely connection between map-making and gramophone needles.


Whether your interest is in maps, social history, local history or manufacturing, the Duncan Street Explorer has something for everyone and the layers of content allow you to explore in as much detail as you would like.

We hope you will enjoy learning more about this amazing firm and its inspirational staff through our Duncan Street Explorer.

The Automobile Association Map of England and Wales

Posted 22 March, 2013 13:04 by Karla Baker | Permalink

On the 25th August, 1939, John Bartholomew and Son printed 10,347 copies of their ‘Automobile Association Map of England and Wales’. As far as maps go, I think it’s fair to say it’s not exactly anything to write home about. Stripped away of any extraneous information, beyond the roads themselves, the strictly black and white map is rather clinical, resembling a diagram of the human circulatory system.

Automobile map

Whilst undoubtedly of interest to some, I fear this map would make for a somewhat uninspiring blog article, so luckily for me, things really pick up when you turn the map over.

The reverse of this map is devoted to at-length descriptions of the Automobile Association, and the assorted benefits of membership. Perhaps the one we are most familiar with is the patrol service, providing motorists with assistance in their hour of need. In 1939, the service looked like this.

Automobile patrol

The accompanying text informs readers that the road patrol service is the first of its kind in the world, with officers patrolling on motorbikes with side cars, or pedal cycles. Equipped with tools, petrol and a fire extinguisher, they were surely well armed to tackle any emergency.

Of course, in a time where mobile telephones were possibly beyond the realms of any imagination, contacting the patrol might have been a tricky business. But not so, as the AA proudly provided its members with access to roadside telephone boxes.

Automobile roadside

In truth, a lot of care and attention appears to have gone into this service, with phone boxes specifically located on main roads where telephones were scare or on roads described as ‘passing through lonely areas’. The telephone boxes were all fitted with an identical lock, and AA membership included a key, to allow members access to this invaluable communication link. A card inside included details of the nearest AA approved garages as well as those of local hotels, doctors and the nearest ambulance service. Although local calls were free of charge, an honesty box operated for those making trunk or toll calls.

One thing I hadn’t realised the AA took charge of was road signage, but this is yet another service proudly boasted about on the reverse of the map.

Automobile signs

The text says, ‘In the early days of motoring, many of the signposts – where they existed – were in a more or less dilapidated condition’. From 1907, the AA undertook to improve the situation by installing their own signposts. By 1939, this totalled over 100,000.

Then finally, something that really was a revelation to me, the AA’s aviation department.

Automobile aviation

Launched in 1928, this department worked in collaboration with the Royal Aero Club, to provide aviators with ‘extensive air touring facilities’. This included their Air Route Maps, another type of map publication which Bartholomew printed.

To end, another interesting point of note; just seven days after this map was printed, Germany invaded Poland, leading to the start of the Second World War.

Exhibition opens!

Posted 7 December, 2012 13:04 by Karla Baker | Permalink

It is with great pleasure that I am able to bring you news of the National Library of Scotland’s winter exhibition, Putting Scotland on the Map: The World of John Bartholomew and Son which opened today.

This exhibition tells the story of a great Scottish, cartographic institution. From the charismatic members of the Bartholomew family to the firm’s highly skilled and loyal staff; told through oral history recordings, hand-made tools and of course, their amazing maps themselves, you are encouraged to look back at a time when an atlas could take six years to complete, and each colour was printed one at a time.

As a firm and as individuals Bartholomew gave us, amongst other things, the maps for Lawrence of Arabia’s memoir ‘The Seven Pillars of Wisdom’, the popularisation of Antarctica as the name of the southern continent and of the pink colouring of the British Empire on political maps. They also gave us the map for Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’ in the Edinburgh Edition, and perhaps even the first edition too as well as the establishment of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and even the National Library of Scotland’s own maps reading room. But perhaps most importantly, they helped to change the way we see the world forever, when the firm adopted and popularised contour-layer colouring; used to such effect in the seminal ‘Survey Atlas of Scotland’ and the ‘Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World’.

This free exhibition can be visited in our main George IV Bridge building until 7th May 2013. Opening times are: Monday to Friday – 10.00-20.00; Saturday – 10.00-17.00 and Sunday – 14.00-17.00.


Map compilation at Bartholomew

Posted 30 October, 2012 13:04 by Karla Baker | Permalink

On the 7 December, 2012, our exhibition of Bartholomew Archive material will open in our George IV Bridge building. Putting Scotland on the Map: The World of John Bartholomew and Son will explore the techniques and processes by which Bartholomew brought their maps to life. By way of a little teaser, I would like to give you a small glimpse into the complex world of map compilation.

Photo of draughtsmen 1895

This photograph shows Bartholomew’s draughtsman in their Park Road office. It was taken in 1895 but it shows people performing tasks which, in many respects, changed little for the next 50 to 60 years.

Some map publishers, such as Ordnance Survey, conduct ground or aerial surveys to gather the information they need for their maps. Bartholomew gathered the information that they needed via a process called compilation. Compilation is where the draughtsman’s role began. This was but one of the many elements to the draughtsman’s role, which made it one of the most specialist positions in the firm.

Alex Williamson

Draughtsmen had a lot of different resources to hand when it came to compiling information. Bartholomew kept a vast collection of reference maps and atlases produced by their competitors such as Ordnance Survey. Although Bartholomew did not plagiarize these works, studying the maps of others could reveal changes to natural and man-made features that Bartholomew might chose to incorporate into their own maps. They also kept a large collection of newspaper clippings. Whenever a story touched upon a pertinent subject, such as the building of a new road, the demolition of a bridge or the redrawing of an international boundary, Bartholomew would cut out and keep the story for future reference. This article, which details the post-war changes to London following the Blitz, is a poignant example.

Times, 27 July 1944

But by far the biggest source of information was the vast amount of correspondence sent to Bartholomew every day. In some cases members of the public would volunteer information, sometimes including a hand-drawn map of their own, or an annotated clipping from one of Bartholomew’s maps. In other cases the relationship was more formal. This is perhaps best demonstrated by Bartholomew’s relationship with the Cyclist’s Touring Club.

The Cyclist’s Touring Club (CTC) was founded in 1878 and by the end of the 1890s boasted membership figures of close to 60,500. This then was a desirable market for Bartholomew, as CTC members actively sought useful, accurate and cycle friendly maps for their excursions. In 1898 John George Bartholomew (the firm’s director at the time) sought to capitalise on this market and wrote to the CTC’s Secretary with a proposal. Bartholomew would supply the CTC with discounted half inch maps but in return they requested that CTC members supplied the firm with up to date information. The benefit was therefore twofold; Bartholomew acquired a ready market for their maps but also, an army of thousands of people who toured the country and passed on information, for free, which the firm could then use to ensure their maps remained accurate. Although much of this correspondence is formal and business-like, some correspondents were a little more forthright, as this letter from 1915 demonstrates.

20 August 1915

Bartholomew derived similar information from local surveyors, town planners, planning departments and other like agencies, complementing the information they received from members of the public.

Once this information had been collected the draughtsmen would either update a base map, or draw a new map from scratch and the next stage of the draughtsman’s work would begin.

If you would like to know what happened next, why not pop by the National Library of Scotland and visit Putting Scotland on the Map: The World of John Bartholomew and Son, a free exhibition open from 7 December 2012-7 May 2013.

Images © permission of Collins Bartholomew

John Bartholomew Junior in the USA

Posted 14 September, 2012 13:04 by Karla Baker | Permalink

This instalment of the countdown to our Bartholomew Archive exhibition turns its attention to the personal. The Bartholomew Archive is extraordinarily rich when it comes to reconstructing the production processes of John Bartholomew and Son, but it is no less rich when it comes to illuminating personal stories too.

John Bartholomew Junior (1831-1893) was the third generation of the Bartholomew family to take up engraving as a profession. John Junior benefited from the good reputation that his father and grandfather had earned for their skill and professionalism. He was thus able to build on this reputation and did so initially through a prestigious apprenticeship with the German geographer August Petermann (1822–78). Petermann came to Britain with new ideas and techniques and would go on to be appointed Physical Geographer and Engraver in Stone to the Queen. This small but significant detail laid the foundations for the great success the firm would go on to enjoy because in John Junior’s hands, the small engraving concern became a major engraving and printing house.

In 1885, John Junior and his travelling companion, Andrew McDonald, undertook a 22,886 mile, three month journey around North America. The principal aims of the trip were to foster new business connections and to gather information, and John Junior travelled with at least two endorsements to this end.

letter of recomendation by edinburghs merchants co

But it wasn’t all business and John Junior had many an opportunity to indulge in sightseeing and pleasure cruises. Mementoes from this trip even include two pressed flowers that John Junior picked at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. More examples of the colourful and interesting remnants of the trip can be seen below.

milwaukee lake postcard

No matter where he was on this mammoth tour, John Junior’s diary reveals that he couldn’t resist comparing almost everything that he saw to the more familiar landscapes of his native Scotland. So, for example, certain stretches of the Mississippi were “something like the width of the Clyde”, Telegraph Hill in San Francisco “looks as steep as the Calton Hill” and the Green River was compared to the Tay at Perth.

The trip can be considered a success if evidence from the firm’s Printing Record can be relied upon. At around this time there appears to be a marked increase in the orders Bartholomew received from North American publishing firms, including T Ellwood Zell and J B Lippincott. However, the trip was almost scuppered.

John Junior travelled from Liverpool on the S. S. “Germanic” on the 2 April 1885. The ship landed at Queenstown the next day. It collected some 300 sacks of mail then embarked again for the crossing of the Atlantic, heading to New York. The weather was set fair but on the night of the 3rd a storm set in. The storm lasted all of the next day and whilst John Junior “supposed this to be the usual experience of an Atlantic voyage” he couldn’t help but note that “the thundering of the waves against the ship was something awful”. It got worse. “At 10.30 there was a tremendous crash, a greater wave than the others having thundered over the vessel, carrying away 7 boats, 2 steam cranes…rails, deckchairs and everything movable on deck. One seaman was washed overboard and lost. The water rushed in torrents through the breach in the recreation room…then passed along the passages and into the passengers cabins, setting afloat books, shoes, boxes…About 13.00 Greenwich time an officer came round and began to screw down the iron shutters over the port hole windows…he said that the Captain had given orders to turn the ship and all the port holes had to be screwed down in case the windows would be broken and the sea burst into her broadside. This was not very comforting and we anxiously waited for the critical period to be passed”. The experience must have been terrifying. However, on the 7 April, five days after leaving Liverpool, the “Germanic” safely docked back into Queenstown harbour. John Junior later discovered that “the “Germanic” was 540 miles west of Queenstown when she encountered the wave, and that the cost of the accident to the White Star Line was £25,000″. This would equate to many millions of pounds in today’s money. Three days later, John Junior and Andrew set sail again, this time aboard the “Adriatic” and this time they made it to New York.

white starline passenger list cover

There are many more personal stories to be found in the Bartholomew Archive, some of them profoundly significant, some of them comical and some of them tragic. Join us from December-May to discover more of the personal stories of the Bartholomew firm and their amazing staff.

The Building of an Institution

Posted 13 August, 2012 13:04 by Karla Baker | Permalink

The second instalment of our Bartholomew Archive Exhibition tasters looks back at one of the firm’s most recognisable premises – Duncan Street.


John George Bartholomew (1860-1920) moved his firm to Duncan Street in 1911. This was the fourth premises that John George would have been able to remember. He recalled the hustle and bustle of North Bridge, Bartholomew’s first commercial premises, which he experienced as a very small child. He undertook his apprenticeship at the firm’s next and first independent premises (North Bridge was shared) on Chambers Street. Then, as head of the firm, in 1889 he moved with the company to their biggest premises yet, on Park Road.

Park Road was an unhappy home for John George. Problems arose not so much because of the building, but because of the terms in which it was taken. Park Road was built by the publisher Thomas Nelson, who in 1888 entered into partnership with Bartholomew. For reasons we may never fully understand, John George found this partnership difficult. One explanation is that in order to pay Nelson back Bartholomew essentially acted as Nelson’s indentured printing concern. Perhaps it was the belief that this would curtail his freedom that troubled the imaginative and ambitious John George.


After twenty years at Park Road, John George began to plan his future, free from Nelson, in Duncan Street. This sketch by John George, of the Duncan Street building superimposed over a print of Park Road, perhaps reveals something of a man happy to be moving on.

Work began on Duncan Street in 1909 and by 1911 Bartholomew were moving in. The Bartholomew Archive is extremely lucky to have photographs of Duncan Street under construction. They are a little murky but they will show you this building in a way that few who are alive today will have seen it before.




The Archive goes even further than this and contains some extremely detailed information about this building. One item, a building abstract, shows us how much each element cost and the name of the firm that was contracted to do it. So, for example, we know that the roof slater was R. Kidd and that the cost was £251.10s. 5d (about £20,000 today).


Bartholomew celebrated the move with a flurry of promotional material, which of course included a map or two.


John George must surely have felt that Duncan Street was a home from home. And in fact, this is more true than it might seem. John George and his family had enjoyed many happy years in an Edinburgh home called Falcon Hall. Before this building was demolished, John George had the entire front portico taken down and rebuilt as the entrance to Duncan Street. Compare this picture of Falcon Hall below with that of Duncan Street above.


The firm stayed at Duncan Street until 1995, which marks almost 200 years of a Bartholomew business in Edinburgh.

This is but a wee snippet of the tale of Duncan Street, which we will explore in much more detail in our December 2012 to May 2013 exhibition, here at the National Library of Scotland. We look forward to seeing you there!