National Records of Scotland

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Declaration of Arbroath Anniversary Events

Declaration of Arbroath Anniversary Events

Monday, 6 Jan 2020
Image showing the Declaration of Arbroath

Events accompany rare display of iconic Scottish document

National Records of Scotland (NRS) and National Museums Scotland have announced a programme of public events to mark the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath in 2020. 

The NRS programme examines the Declaration, the context of its creation and its significance today, featuring talks by academics, historians and an artist, including Head of Medieval and Early modern Records Alan Borthwick and the writer and historian Fiona Watson. 

National Museums Scotland will present a discussion with historians and archivists chaired by curator Dr Alice Blackwell of National Museums Scotland. A panel including Fiona Watson, Professor Dauvit Broun from the University of Glasgow and Alan Borthwick, Head of Medieval Records at NRS, will explore the origins, influence and legacy of the Declaration. 

There will also be a drop-in event with family craft activities at the museum, as well as a chance to meet NRS conservators to discover how medieval documents are repaired, treated and cared for. 

These events will accompany the first public display in fifteen years of the Declaration – one of Scotland’s most iconic historic documents – at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh from 27 March to 26 April.

NRS will also provide a learning resource for primary schoolchildren and a programme of educational workshops for schools, and their archivists will take part in an international conference on the Declaration at Newbattle Abbey College.

During the display at the National Museum of Scotland there will be bookable timed slots available for school visits.

Welcoming news of these events, Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans Graeme Dey said: 

"I welcome these events as part of an exciting anniversary year in which we will celebrate this amazing document with the people of Scotland, and with visitors from around the world.

The Declaration of Arbroath is a unique historical record and is of huge importance to Scotland as a whole, but particularly to the town of Arbroath itself.

"I’ve been pleased to discover how many people of Scots descent worldwide have a great understanding of the document's significance."

Paul Lowe, Chief Executive of NRS, said:

"National Records of Scotland have the great honour of being the custodians of the Declaration of Arbroath and preserving it for future generations. We are delighted to make this iconic document available once more for public view, working closely with our colleagues in the National Museum of Scotland.

"We look forward to hosting visitors to our range of exciting events throughout the year and to participating in the wider celebrations of this key treasure from our extensive collections."

Stephen Allen, Head of Learning and Programmes, National Museums Scotland said:

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with the National Records of Scotland to create an engaging programme of events to support the display of the declaration here at the National Museum of Scotland.

"The Declaration of Arbroath is an iconic piece of Scotland's history and we look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors next year to see it close up and enjoy the events."

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