This “now page” is a hub for my current activities.
I live in Edinburgh and am currently Research Principal for the WS Society who can also be seen on Twitter and on Instagram. Under the WS Society umbrella, I am also the administrator for the local children’s education charity John Watson’s Trust. I am a trustee of the Scottish Historical Review Trust.
My current projects are:
- A year-long rolling exhibition to mark the 2022 tricentenary of the Signet Library and bicentenary of its Regency premises in Edinburgh’s Parliament Square.
- I am giving a paper entitled “From Chiang Yee to IIIF: 200 years of ‘spreading the word’ about Edinburgh’s Signet Library” at The Independent Libraries Association Conference in Birmingham in May 2022
- The Signet Library’s Long 18th Century 1722-1837 – The Signet Library’s Summer Exhibition July 2022
- Richard Demarco at the Signet Library: Celebrating 75 Years of the Edinburgh International Festival – an exhibition and event in August 2022.
- Conducting a small-scale photographic survey of Leith and Edinburgh following the pattern of the Edinburgh Photographic Society’s Survey Section (1899-1914)
- Researching for a proposed book on the photographers of the Liberation of Paris in August 1944.
Recently completed projects include:
A new digital edition of The Diary of George Sandy 1788
My article on the history, present and future of the Signet Library was published in Legal Information Management in February 2022.
My feature on aspects of the WS Society Archive for the JISC Archives Hub blog was published on 1st July 2021 and can be viewed here.
I issued a series of video lectures on aspects of Signet Library history and collections as part of the WS Society Annual Exhibition 2021 and these can be seen via the Exhibition Home Page. The lectures also accompany the completed digitization and transcription of The Travel Diaries of William Creech 1766-1767.
My article “Building ‘The Palace of Bokes’: Robert Reid, William Stark and the Signet Library” was published in The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club New Series Volume 16 in February 2021.
I was privileged to participate in the production of a new edited edition of one of the Signet Library’s most important manuscripts which was published in November 2020 as Scottish Record Society New Series vol. 46 An Impartial and Genuine List of Ladys on the Whig or Jacobite Partie, Edinburgh 1745 edited by Dr. Anita Gillespie.
In April 2020 I completed the first iteration of the WS Society Archives Catalogue with the JISC Archive Hub.
In 2020 I presented an online talk to the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society on the subject of the Signet Library Sales of 1959-1979
In 2019 I reinaugurated the University of Glasgow’s Murray Lecture with a paper entitled Legal bibliophilia in the Dear Green Place: Dr David Murray and his lost legal archive 1842-1928