Event to offer rare glimpse into Scotland in the 1800s

Event to offer rare glimpse into Scotland in the 1800s

An Aberdeen audience will enjoy a rare insight into the landscape and people of Scotland in the 1800s, at a free event this week.

125-year-old images, depicting the Western Isles of Scotland and St Kilda, will be shown in a unique slideshow presentation at Waterstone’s Union Bridge branch on Wednesday (July 14).

The now iconic collection of pictures, were taken by Aberdeen photographers George Washington Wilson and Norman Macleod who embarked on a journey from Oban to St Kilda in 1886.

The images were captured on individually hand-coloured lantern slides.

They will be shown at the event in their original format using a Victorian magic lantern projector.

Author and historian Mark Butterworth, a leading expert on the photographic lantern slides of Scotland produced during the 19th century, will present the slides at the event, which is part of the University of Aberdeen’s Café Scientifique series.

He said: “The incredible journey taken by George Washington Wilson and Norman Macleod as they travelled through the Western Isles of Scotland to St Kilda is portrayed beautifully in their images, which uniquely capture the way of life in the 1800s in evocative detail.

“The images – which shed new light on life in the Western Isles at this time - were ahead of their time, produced fifty years before colour photography came to Scotland.

“I acquired these rare hand-coloured slides in 2004, complete with the original accompanying lecture notes and have since given regular presentations, sharing this unique collection of rarely seen images with the public.”

The event – Scotland through the Magic Lantern – takes place as part of the Café Scientifique series, which provides a public forum for the discussion of highly topical issues in science.

There is no need to book for the event which begins at 7pm and takes place in the Costa Café area of the Waterstone’s.

Café Scientifique takes place once a month at Waterstone’s through to October.

Other topics set to be highlighted in the series include the effect rising sea levels through global warming, could have on cities across the globe in the future, and the way the controversial drug Thalidomide has changed the world.

For full listings of the three series programmes visit: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/science/cafescience/  .

Café Scientifique is supported by the Scottish Government through a Science Engagement Award.