Scotland versus England in pictures and programmes

As well as being National Libraries Day, Saturday also sees the start of this year’s RBS Six Nations rugby championship. Scotland’s first match sees Murrayfield play host to a visit from the ‘auld enemy’, who ran out victors when the sides last met at the 2011 World Cup.

Central Library’s Edinburgh and Scottish Collection is home to books, photographs and programmes which document the history of international rugby’s oldest fixture. Some of these items make up part of a display which is currently on show in the library.

The slideshow below features the teams from the first match between the countries, which took place at Raeburn Place on the afternoon of Monday 27th March 1871. Each team had 20 players and each half lasted 50 minutes. The match was won, somewhat controversially, by the home side.

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The slideshow also includes a couple of items from our collection of programmes, including the cover of the programme for the 100th match between the sides, which took place in 1984. Despite the efforts of England’s splendidly named Dusty Hare, Scotland won this game on their way to a rare grand slam.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our collection of rugby material speak to a member of staff or drop us a line at


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