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Wanderings with a Camera in Scotland - The Photography of Erskine Beveridge

01/06/2009

In the early 1960s, in the course of recording a Dunfermline mill building that was scheduled for demolition, RCAHMS surveyors discovered an incredible collection of over 750 glass plate negatives. Taken between 1880 and 1919, the photographs show Scotland on the brink of major social and economic change. From black houses in the Western Isles and Highland crofts in the shadow of Ben Nevis, to remote castles in Argyll and busy harbour views in Fife, they are a remarkable record of a bygone era.

The photographs are the work of Erskine Beveridge (1851-1920) the owner of a Dunfermline based company that specialised in the production of fine table and bed linen. A wealthy and influential man, Beveridge was an enthusiastic historian and archaeologist and would become one of the finest amateur photographers of his generation. He recognised the power of the camera to record his surroundings and was fascinated with landscapes, boats, buildings and archaeological monuments. His images are not just fine, well composed representations of their subjects, but also convey a sense of what made Scotland’s places meaningful to him. It is this quality which transforms many of his photographs into real works of art.

Published in paperback in May 2014, Wanderings with a Camera in Scotland showcases lavish reproductions of over 170 of Erskine Beveridge’s finest photographs, along with a fascinating biographical introduction by RCAHMS Head of Collections, Lesley Ferguson.

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