John Groat family album on Edinburgh Collected

One of the great features of Edinburgh Collected is being able to create online scrapbooks. This is the opportunity to gather together images you have found or put on the website into one place to tell a story.

One of our latest contributions is from our friends at the Living Memory Association who have collated lots of lovely photographs to tell the story of John Groat (1924-2018) and his family.

John’s first job at 14 was as a “hammer boy” at Brown Brothers’ Engineering Works near Rosebank earning 8 shillings.

John Groat aged 3 years

In 1946 John joined the RAF, where he was posted to Egypt remaining there until 1950.

After leaving the RAF John joined the Nursing College in Castle Street where he met his future wife.

John continued his career in Edinburgh as a District Nurse, where he remembered that one of his patients used to keep a pony in the bathroom!

Take a look at the full John Groat scrapbook on Edinburgh Collected and if you’ve enjoyed hearing a little about John’s life and looking at some of his family photos, why not gather some of your own together and create your own scrapbook on Edinburgh Collected?

Breaking the News photography competition – the prize winners!

We’re delighted to announce the winners of the Breaking the News photography competition which invited people to submit photographs that told a story from their area or community.

We had dozens of fantastic entries and you can see them all in our special Breaking the News photography competition scrapbook on Edinburgh Collected.

Our three judges had a difficult decision but after careful deliberation have awarded the following three newsworthy entries as the winners.

1st prize – Fire on Calton Hill by soggybiscuit

Smoke rising from the fire on Calton Hill by soggybiscuit

2nd prize – Discoveries in Leith during tram works by bartles

Taken on Constitution Street, the picture shows an archaeologist working to exhume a skeleton during tram works by Bartek Les.

3rd prize – Swing Dancers At Pavillion Cafe, The Meadows by MartinaMac

Edinbop Swing dancers get together at The Pavilion Cafe for the first outside swing dance event since the Covid pandemic, by MartinaMac.

Congratulations to our winners and many thanks to everyone who entered the competition!

This competition was run as part of a wider project in collaboration with the British Library and the Living Knowledge Network of libraries on the theme of Breaking the News.

Breaking the News photography competition

Enter Edinburgh Libraries’ Breaking the News photography competition and become part of a community archive of Edinburgh memories.

Show us what’s happening in your area! Take a photograph that tells a story from your neighbourhood. The story can be big or small but should be related to your community.

For example, what is the greatest change happening where you live? What are people interested in locally? What events are taking place?

Aeroplane Enthusiasts 1990s, shared by Living Memory Association on Edinburgh Collected

The competition is free to enter but all submissions must be submitted via Edinburgh Collected ( where they will become part of an online community archive for Edinburgh. The image should be titled and can include a text description of up to 1500 characters but the image should really tell the story.

There are fantastic prizes to be won! Enter for a chance to win:
1st prize – afternoon tea for two at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh
2nd prize – afternoon tea for two at the Mercure Hotel, Edinburgh
3rd prize – an Edinburgh Monopoly board game.

Entrants must create an account with Edinburgh Collected to upload your image(s) and add the tag ‘BreakingTheNews’ when uploading entries to the website so that they are identifiable. (Please also read the Edinburgh Collected terms and conditions.)

The competition runs from 1 April to 30 June 2022 and is open to all.

Potterow Port – skaters, shared by arghnothingworks on Edinburgh Collected

This competition is part of a wider project in collaboration with the British Library and the Living Knowledge Network of libraries on the theme of Breaking the News.

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date for entries is 30 June 2022
2. The photograph submitted must be your own work
3. You must agree to Edinburgh Collected terms and conditions
4. The place featured must be within the City of Edinburgh Council boundary
5. Add the tag ‘BreakingTheNews’ to all competition entries
6. There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit, but there will be only one winning entry per participant.

Ghost signs

As a somewhat tenuous nod to Halloween, we have come across some ghost signs which can be found on buildings throughout the town, remnants of hand-painted advertising signage, above doors or on walls where they were never meant to last forever. You can see them in our Edinburgh Collected scrapbook.

Edinburgh Ghost Signs - Herb Beer - Upper Bow
Upper Bow, Old Town

Some have survived, often revealed during refurbishment, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of one before new signage is added.

R Dolan Chimney Sweeper
R. Dolan – Chimney Sweeper

Most people who have grown up in Edinburgh will remember this place, and will be pleased to see that ice cream is healthy after all!

Mr Boni
Mr Boni’s – Gilmour Place

These are a few from our Edinburgh Collected community archive, maybe you can help find some more and add them to the collection?

The Forth Road Bridge construction pictures

People here in Edinburgh and worldwide are familiar with our iconic bridges that span over the Firth of Forth connecting Edinburgh to Fife.

We now have three bridges, but our latest scrapbook of images courtesy of the Living Memory Association, focuses on the Forth Road Bridge.

Many of the images were taken by workers who helped construct the bridge between 1958 and when it opened in 1964.

Construction Workers On Forth Road Bridge Having Tea Break c.1962
Construction workers on Forth Road Bridge having a tea break, c1962

These are not official photographs, these are ones taken by workers of their pals going about their day to day job, one where you spend all of your day hundreds of feet above the Firth of Forth. The views must have been spectacular!

We’re grateful to the Living Memory Association for sharing these wonderful images from their tremendous picture archive on Edinburgh Collected.

Construction Workers On Part Of Deck Of Forth Road Bridge c.1962
Construction workers on part of deck of Forth Road Bridge, c1962

Have you got photographs that you have taken over the years or even recently of day to day life in Edinburgh, that perhaps are in boxes or even on phones? Then why not share them with us on our Edinburgh Collected website? It’s easy to use and we would love to add them to our community archive so that they can be shared with everyone.

If you’re not sure where to start with adding material to Edinburgh Collected, get in contact with for advice.

Jean Bell’s Dumbiedykes

Today we feature, another fantastic scrapbook from Edinburgh Collected and another helping from the Living Memory Association, this time featuring Jean Bell’s memories of Dumbiedykes where she was born in 1934. In her scrapbook, photos and memories from the mid 40s to the mid 70s are shared with us.

Coronation celebrations at ‘Hen’s Dyke’ by Dumbiedykes Road – 1953

John Codona, a one man band, is captured leading children like the Pied Piper down the street. Another picture shows the residents of Dumbiedykes celebrating Coronation Day in 1953. And boys doing what they did then, showing off by climbing up a lamppost.

John Codona, the one man band, playing in Dumbiedykes Road – c1954

Photos like these show the social history of areas. Many of the places featured here no longer exist. We can see in this image below, teenagers standing on the balcony of an old tenement with the 1960s high rise answer to housing problems emerging in the background. It’s through these images before the tenements have disappeared that we can see the old taking over the new; change recorded as it happened.

Teenagers on tenement balcony at 42 Dumbiedykes Road, new flats in background c1960

This is where you come in. Do you have any photos lurking about in albums or perhaps loose in boxes? Give them a new lease of life and tell your story.
We would love you to add them to Edinburgh Collected.

Edinburgh Collected scrapbook – Willie Haswell from the Canongate

A wonderful online scrapbook features Willie Haswell who was born in 1921 and lived with his widowed mother and three sisters at 49 Canongate.

There are many studio portraits of various relatives of Willie’s taken at a time when owning a camera wasn’t the norm. A trip to a studio photographer was very common, everyone dressed up in their Sunday best.

Studio portrait of John Haswell, Willie’s nephew – c1947

Willie was called up for National Service in 1941, and the scrapbook features many photos taken when serving with the RAF in Germany where he met his future wife, Barbara.

Wartime Sweethearts – c1947

The scrapbook also features photos of travel documents required by Barbara to travel to Britain. So, it’s not just people and places that we are looking to add to Edinburgh Collected, we are also collecting items of social history.

Barbara and Willie, at their kitchen table in their Canongate home c1962

We’re grateful to the Living Memory Association who shared the pictures and memories of Willie Haswell’s life on Edinburgh Collected.

We are always looking for images and memories to add to Edinburgh Collected. Why not add your family story? It’s so easy to do and you would be joining our community archive, contributing to our City’s digital heritage collections.

Bell’s Mill scrapbook on Edinburgh Collected

One of the great things about Edinburgh Collected is that everyone can add images themselves. Many associations have uploaded photographs from their own collections. One of them, The Living Memory Association has provided us with many hundreds of photographs and have created scrapbooks each telling their own stories.

Two Boys Sitting On Tree Trunk At Bell's Mill By Belford Bridge c.1890
Two boys sitting on tree trunk at Bell’s Mill By Belford Bridge c.1890

One scrapbook features the Walker family and Bell’s Mill in the Dean Village around the late 1800s and early 1900s and shows different aspects of life at the mill.

Workers At Bell's Mill By The Water Of Leith c.1895
Workers at Bell’s Mill c.1895. Gideon Walker front right.

Bell’s Mill was run by Gideon Walker at that time and he appears in some of the images. The mill had originally been used to grind corn and flour, but by the late 19th century it was used to grind sawdust into wood flour which was used to make everything from bus tickets to linoleum.

It was while the mill was being used to provide this product that it was destroyed by a blast in 1971.

Nowadays, the site of Bell’s Mill is occupied by modern apartments, but some of the old mill still exists if you look close enough.

You can view the complete scrapbook, about ‘The Walker Family, a family of millers on the Water of Leith’ on Edinburgh Collected.

Street photographers

Today we open another scrapbook put together on Edinburgh Collected by the Living Memory Association, this time focusing on Street Photographers.

In the 1930s, street photography was extremely popular and there were many street photographers operating in Scottish cities. These photographers would post themselves on busy streets in towns and cities taking ‘walking pictures’ of passing pedestrians.

Here in Edinburgh, the North Bridge was a popular location, and there would be a kiosk or shop nearby where you could purchase the photographs of yourself. These photographs became a novel keepsake as most people would not have owned a camera.

Pedestrians Walking Along North Bridge 1930s
Pedestrians walking along North Bridge, 1930s

The great thing about these photographs is that they are not posed, it is possible many didn’t even realise they had been photographed until they were confronted by the photographer.

In one image a street photographer even manages to capture a Charlie Chaplin-esque figure walking along Princes Street and in another one, a woman carrying her messages home along Gorgie Road.

Street photography continued to be popular until the 1960s when photography became more affordable to the masses.

View the whole scrapbook of this lost art of street photography on Edinburgh Collected.

One year on

A year ago, our Libraries closed their doors, joining the effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. None of us expected the ‘stay at home’ message to last so long or that libraries would be closed again one year later.

We did realise we were living through a momentous and strange time. We wanted to record the effects of the pandemic and Edinburgh Collected gave us the means to gather images from across the city. With your help, we recorded the changes to normal life and the visual signs of the pandemic – rainbows, chalk drawings, supermarket queues, facemasks – the sights now commonplace, that last Spring and early Summer were new and alien.

Dinny visit yer Granny! shared by Carol

We’re tremendously grateful to all those who helped us record this past strange and difficult year on Edinburgh Collected, our online community archive.

Cleaning Mania, shared by reignlea – “Before we knew it would last forever.”

We continue to welcome contributions to our Coronavirus collection on Edinburgh Collected so that we can record history today, for the future.
You can view the submissions so far in our online scrapbook, Edinburgh 2020-2021 – coronavirus pandemic.

Oh, I wanna dance with somebody! shared by Will o’ the Wisp

Short back and sides

We are going to open the pages of a brilliant new scrapbook from our Edinburgh Collected website – “The 69 year old story of the history of “Bobs” the famous Family Hairdressing Dynasty”. This scrapbook was put together by Patrick McCole and features an Edinburgh barbers through the years from its opening at 116 West Port right up to 2020 when the then current owner retired.

First Barber Shop-West Port

The barbers opened at 116 West Port by Bronislav (Bob) Malinowski in 1951 with just 3 Barbers chairs. When that shop was due to be demolished as part of redevelopment, they set up business at 13a Brougham Place in 1963. Bob was killed in an accident in 1968, and the business was carried on by his 2 sons Ben and Robin in premises at 99 Lauriston Place and 69 Comely Bank Road. Ben retired from Lauriston Place in 2019 and Robin from Comely Bank in 2020 after 48 years at that location.

Promotional poster for Bob’s

Famous Edinburgh hairdresser Charlie Miller served his apprenticeship in the West Port shop and went on to build up his own hairdressing dynasty.

Take a look at the history of “Bobs” scrapbook, and browse eighty picture memories from the collection.

Maybe you have photographs of places or industries in Edinburgh where you worked that you could share on Edinburgh Collected to help record the city’s past?

Marking Holocaust Memorial Day with Edinburgh Libraries

Join us this month to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Lighting up the Darkness
Edinburgh Libraries have adapted the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s photography project to allow us to grow our Edinburgh Collected online community archive. We hope to gather some extraordinary memories and photographs which will be able to share for many years to come.
Find out how you can contribute to the Light up the Darkness photography project on Edinburgh Collected.

Wednesday 27 January at 11am – Bosnia and beyond
HMD 2021 – Bosnia and beyond: in conversation with Denis Rutovitz and Jeanne Bell, co-founders of Edinburgh Direct Aid

Carol Marr, Library Development Leader will host a pre-recorded event on Stockbridge Library’s Facebook page discussing EDA’s work as a grass roots charity based in Edinburgh. This includes work in Bosnia, Denis and Jeanne’s own personal involvement, the role and commitment of volunteers and about EDA’s work today in Lebanon working with Syrian Refugees.

Wednesday 27 January at 7pm – Reading Ceremony
Join Edinburgh Libraries’ staff and readers for an evening of reading and remembering.

We will be reading short passages from a number of fiction and non-fiction books about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

At the end of the ceremony, there will be an opportunity for everyone to light a candle and take part in a minute’s silence.
Book your free place for this Reading Ceremony via Eventbrite.

Wednesday 27 January at 7pm, Holocaust Memorial Day UK Commemorative Event
The UK Commemorative Event acts as a spotlight for all of the Holocaust Memorial Day activities in the UK. The ceremony is be open to everyone and it is hoped that as many people as possible will watch and engage with the event to honour survivors of the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution, and the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur and to resolve to learn lessons from the past to create a safer, better future.
You can register to watch the ceremony on 27 January.

Edinburgh Libraries are marking Holocaust Memorial Day with Edinburgh Collected

Edinburgh Libraries have taken inspiration from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust photography competition (now closed) on the theme of Be the Light in the Darkness to enable us to record pictures and memories on our online community archive, Edinburgh Collected.

We are looking for original images focussing on the people, groups, images and objects which light up the darkness. Photos are immediate and capture the contemporary situation faster than any other creative medium. They also give us extraordinary insight into past events.

Think about what the ‘darkness’ and the ‘light’ have been for you, or for others in the past. How would you capture this in a photo? Who or what has been a source of hope, inspiration or support through dark times?

Photojournalism has been used to document the horrific conditions of concentration camps and the atrocities of genocide and war and has served as a powerful testimony for combatting Holocaust denial.

However, there have also been recent discussions on the inappropriate use of distressing images. Do not try to recreate any images from past conflicts, do not photograph people in distressing situations, instead, focus your image on what has been the light rather than the darkness.

1. Get to know the 2021 Holocaust Memorial Day Be The Light In The Darkness theme and read the life story of a survivor of the Holocaust or one of the more recent genocides on the Holocaust Memorial Day website. You might like to read about the experiences of Mussa, a survivor of the Genocide in Rwanda, who sees his passion for photography as a tool for change.

2. Think about how this theme is relevant to you. What is the ‘darkness’ and what is the ‘light’?

3. Research how other photographers have used themes of light and dark visually in their work for inspiration.

4. Be creative! Make your photo as unique to you or your group as possible. We are looking for original, relevant and diverse images.

5. You can use phone filters if you want to but remember not to use any editing software like Photoshop or Illustrator.

6. Create an account on and share your photos on the Be the Light in the Darkness theme.

You can upload in time for Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January, however Edinburgh Collected is there for you all year round.

If you want more information or any help getting started with Edinburgh Collected, please contact

The Edinburgh Roperie and Sailcloth Company

A new scrapbook of images on Edinburgh Collected ( shows the history of the Edinburgh Roperie and Sailcloth Company which was founded in 1750 and used continuously for 210 years.

Edinburgh Roperie and Sailcoth Company booklet published for the New Zealand International Exhibition of 1906-1907

The company in Bath Street, adjacent to Leith Links was founded by a small group of local ropemakers and other tradesmen and by 1914, it employed over 1,000 people.

The factories produced many different materials initially for outfitting sailing ships. By 1922 they were producing ropes for steamers and trawlers, ropes for railways, fishing lines and twine for agricultural use in Canada. Then sailcloth production also developed and after steamers replaced a lot of sailing vessels, they produced canvas and other work fabrics.

Bleaching department, drying green of Leith Roperie, c1906

The Edinburgh Roperie and Sailcloth was bought over by British Ropes Ltd in 1925 and continued manufacturing opening a new weaving mill for synthetic cloth in 1950.

Feeding sisal for rope-making into machine, 1960s

The factories closed in 1960, as British Ropes moved all their manufacturing to London.

The former Leith site is currently under development for housing called The Ropeworks.

View more images from this past industry in the Leith Roperie scrapbook on Edinburgh Collected. The pictures were all added to the site by The Living Memory Association, who have shared over 3500 images from their picture archive on Edinburgh Collected so far.

Do you have a story to share on our community archive? Anyone can add their pictures and memories to Edinburgh Collected and at the same time, contribute to the City’s growing digital heritage collection for all to enjoy.

“We never realised we were making memories – we were just having fun.”

Today’s blog is written by Stuart Laidlaw who over the past few months has added hundreds of images of Sighthill to Edinburgh Collected, our online community archive.

We’re incredibly grateful to Stuart for uploading his wonderful pictures and memories of growing up in Sighthill during the late 1940s to mid 1960s to Edinburgh Collected so that this area of Edinburgh and this time of huge change in the city is better represented in our collections.

We never realised we were making memories – we were just having fun.

Stuart with his cousins in the back garden of the prefab at 11 Calder Drive, 1955

Back in 1930, a walk along the Calder Road from Longstone to the Union Canal would have meant a stroll past farms and fields on both sides of the road.

By 1950, the Broomhouse, Parkhead, Sighthill, Calders Prefab Estates and the Sighthill Industrial Estate had replaced most of them.

By 1970, the prefabs were gone, replaced by high rise flats.

I lived in the prefabs at 11 Calder Drive from 1949 until it and all the other 536 were demolished in 1965/66.

The prefabs on Calder Drive, Sighthill, 1949

Childhood was a time of walking safely the mile or so to and from school up to four times a day.

We could play happily in the streets or surrounding fields.

We went to Sunday School or Band of Hope.

We attended Cubs, Brownies,Scouts ,Girl Guides or the Boys Brigade.

Life was almost pollution free.

In the prefabs we had our own gardens.

So much happened that is now forgotten.

So much now disappeared without a trace.

Section of street plan showing Sighthill Prefabs and Industrial Estat 1965

I was inspired to contribute to Edinburgh Collected when I discovered that so little information about the area was available on the Internet.

With the help of the ex-pupils of Murrayburn Primary School from the 1940s,50s and 60s, I have gathered together photographs and memories of that era, many of them never before seen in public.

I hope that the Scrapbooks will bring alive the atmosphere of the times, and will prove both enjoyable and informative to present and future generations.

Stuart Laidlaw

View Stuart’s page on Edinburgh Collected to enjoy his wonderful collection of picture memories and scrapbooks depicting life in Sighthill during the post-war years.

Lockdown Edinburgh – short films by Jim Sheach

When we put out a call for contributions to our coronavirus scrapbook on Edinburgh Collected, we were contacted by Jim Sheach, who had been making short films as he cycled around Edinburgh capturing the atmosphere of the city during lockdown.

A view of Princes Street on a sunny day but deserted of people and traffic.

A film grab from Edinburgh Princes Street, 1 June 2020, deserted

He’s kindly contributed them to Capital Collections so that we could use them to create an online exhibition. As life returns to something more like normal already these scenes, from only a few weeks ago, seem extraordinarily quiet and alien.

Jim’s short films covering a wide geographical area of the city will be a valuable historic record in years to come and we’re tremendously grateful to him for getting in touch and sharing them with us. View the full collection of short films in our Capital Collections exhibition.

You can view pictures and memories from our coronavirus collecting project on the Edinburgh Collected website, where we still welcome your contributions recording this unusual summer in Edinburgh.

You can view more of Jim’s videos on his YouTube channel.

Recording history today for the future

Central Library’s Edinburgh and Scottish Collection have a long history of collecting material relating to the changing life and times of the city.

Today, we also collect digital submissions from people who can upload their own pictures and memories to Edinburgh Collected, our online community archive (

During these strange times of lockdown living we are asking the public to help us record the visual signs of how life in Edinburgh has changed so that these momentous times are preserved for history.

Saturday at the Grassmarket, shared by Sufly9 on

We’re particularly keen to see the little acts of creativity and messages of thanks and positivity that are helping us all to keep smiling.

We’ve received some lovely picture memories so far but we’d like to capture a complete picture of Edinburgh at this time. Do you have any photos of your neighbourhood that you’ve taken whilst out for your daily exercise or going to the supermarket that you could share?

Anyone can create an account and add pictures and memories to Edinburgh Collected. Once added, we’ll add your contributions to the ‘Edinburgh 2020 – coronavirus pandemic’ scrapbook.

Stay home, shared on by jintyg

Our colleagues in Museums and Galleries and in the City Archives are also collecting material related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Museums and Galleries Edinburgh are looking to collect objects for their museum collections which represent experiences of people in Edinburgh during the pandemic. They’re hoping for donations of everyday objects that have helped you get through the lockdown, e.g. certain equipment you’ve used to keep you safe, a note from your neighbour or the rainbow you made for your window.

If you have something to offer, please email Explain what the item is, what it means to you, and include a photo if you can. (Please note, staff won’t be able to physically collect any material until it is safe to do so and venues reopen.)

Edinburgh City Archives are collecting diaries and journals covering this period. They will collect these in various forms; whether that is paper or digital, text or audio-visual, published on a website/social media or kept privately in an app, book, or document.  If you keep any of these and would be willing to donate it to the Archives for posterity please visit their webpage for more information:

A post from Patrick

This is the first of two blogs featuring memories from the Dean Village shared on Edinburgh Collected.

Today’s blog is written by Patrick McCole, a founder member of Dean Village Memories, a group of former villagers, who lived in the Dean Village from the late 1920s to the mid-1970s.

“I was delighted to receive an invitation to the inaugural launch of the Edinburgh Collected website in April 2015 at Central Library, to which I attended.

The Edinburgh Collected website has given our group of former Dean Villagers, a platform to record the social history of our community which includes memories, stories and photos of our past, to a worldwide audience.

Our community was 99.9% working class. Times were very hard for families struggling to bring their children up in the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s with poor social and economic conditions prevalent, with Village families having very little money and home comforts. It was apparently just the same, as with other Edinburgh working class communities. Some of the Dean Village housing could best be described as Dickensian, in that they housed large families, in small rented rooms, with many families having outside toilets, as experienced by my mum and dad, when they first moved to their basement Well Court house, number 52, in the mid-1930s.

The history of the Village goes back a long way. The Dean Village comes from the word dene, meaning a deep valley. It was known previously as the “Water of Leith Village”. The name appears to have been transferred around 1885 by J. R. Findlay, the developer of the Well Court. For more than 800 years the village was a Grain Milling Area with 11 working Mills driven by the strong currents of the Water of Leith producing flour (for the making of bread for the Citizens of Edinburgh.) The Mills of Dene were first mentioned in King David 1st Founding Charter of Holyrood Abbey dated around 1145 in which he granted one of his Mills of Dene to the Abbey.

Our Village was an industrial working Village housing a Tannery Factory on our doorstep which dated back to 1836-1969 and with other local businesses located in the Village.

We owe it to our children, grandchildren as our memories are part of their roots and to the community and public at large, to record this unique heritage of ours, which was tucked away on the boundary line of Central Edinburgh, an 8 minute walk from the West End.

It’s quite clear that if these memories, stories and photos (including family) of our past community, are not recorded now, they will definitely be lost forever.

A photo taken from the High Green with the Dean School to the left, 1955

I am always amazed when I meet the former Villagers, as they all share with what I would describe as a magnetism and a deep bond of where we grew up, in our cherished Dean Village. We have not forgotten our childhood and when we meet, we enjoy speaking and reminiscing about our memories and the various stories which are all unique.

It has given our group a great deal of satisfaction of re living our childhood and family memories, experiences and the characters that were about in the Village at that time, that we want to share with others.

Undoubtable, the enthusiasm of sharing stories with fellow villagers has brought us closer together. As a group it has given us a new dimension to where we were brought up and to see the stories highlighted professionally on the Edinburgh Collected website.

I have found that the Edinburgh Collected website is very easy to use. If I have any questions staff are always available to help and offer support.

As the co-ordinator for this research, it has been a great privilege for me and an honour to be able to co-ordinate these stories, and to see the pride that my former Villagers have, in wanting to share their memories to others. I am working on a few stories at the moment and in the pipeline I have a further 32 to be exact, thus creating a library within a library.

You too, can be part of a group creating Scrapbooks, or individually you can create a Scrapbook, tell your story, share your memories about the house or area that you grew up in, it’s as simple as that.

Please rest assured your story will be professionally presented when it is published on the Edinburgh Collected website, something that you will be proud off.”

Read the second blog post from the Dean Village Memories group – Gail’s story of her happy childhood memories living in the Dean Village.

Take a step back in time with Edinburgh Collected to the 1960s National Coal Board Computer Centre

Back in May 1963, the National Coal Board opened a state-of-the-art Computer Centre at Sighthill featuring the latest technology. It’s no longer there but thanks to photographs taken on the day we can see just what that technology looked like, and how much it has changed!

National Coal Board , Sighthill – Official Opening, 1963

The photos show massive big pieces of machinery, churning out reams of paper. Operators sitting in front of machines featuring rows and rows of switches. Computer equipment that is taller than those standing next to it. One thing you do notice, is that most of the equipment is being operated by women.

Staff member operating computer at the official opening of the National Coal Board Scotland Computer Centre

The images have been added to our Edinburgh Collected website where we encourage anyone to upload their photographs. Anyone can share their pictures and memories to Edinburgh Collected whilst contributing to the City’s digital heritage collections.

Although the Coal Board photos were most probably taken by a professional photographer, the bulk of photos on Edinburgh Collected have been taken by amateur photographers. They offer a more personal perspective on the past but can still capture areas of Edinburgh, or perhaps industries, factories and activities that no longer exist.

The images in this scrapbook were all added to the site by The Living Memory Association, who have shared over 3000 images on Edinburgh Collected so far.

Nowadays everyone takes photos on their phones, and that’s where they stay. So why not have a look and put some on Edinburgh Collected?

Libraries Week focus: Edinburgh Collected

Join in this Libraries Week by sharing your pictures and memories of Edinburgh on Edinburgh Collected!

Edinburgh Collected ( is a community archive for the city where everyone can browse and enjoy this growing online collection of pictures and memories.

Venchie Fun, 1983 from the Sentinel newspaper, picture memory shared by From There To Here

However, if you sign up for an Edinburgh Collected account, you can upload your own written or picture memories and save your favourite memories to scrapbooks. By joining Edinburgh Collected you’ll be contributing your memories to the city’s heritage collections and helping us to preserve and make history for the future.

My Brother Alec, aged 5 years old, is amongst these 30 children photographed, 1934, picture memory shared by Dean Village Memories

Memories could be from childhood or from yesterday. They all combine to create an online living history for the city.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Edinburgh Collected or need a helping hand to get started, contact the Libraries’ Digital Team via or 0131 242 8033.