(Scots Law) A common; a piece of land in which two or more persons have a common right.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Nithsdale Archival Mapping Project

Inauguaral Meeting of the Nithsdale Archival Mapping Project.  Auldgirth Inn 7.30pm 5th February 2013

There are many old estate maps many going back to the sharing of the commonty in the 18th century.  These maps still exist in private and public archives.  In all there are reckoned to be around 500 pre-1850 estate maps of Nithsdale area and more being re-discovered as we go.  Much intricate detail of our past can be unearthed by looking at the maps and by comparing them with those that have gone before.

This project aims to digitise 18th century estate plans of Nithsdale.  The maps will then be “stitched” together and geo-referenced to both the newest Ordnance Survey mapping of the project area and to the 1856-60 first edition series.  This will be done through a website which will also be accessible to the general public.  The creation of these three base “layers” will allow detailed comparative analysis of land use over 300 years.  It will be made available to registered access groups or individuals to produce their own “layers” for multiple use (e.g. school teaching, university research, tourism, historic analysis, the arts etc.).

The inaugural meeting will be chaired by Lord Norrie (a former winner of the House of Lords Green Ribbon Award in recognition of his contribution to environmental protection through political activity at Westminster).  Historical geographer Professor David Munro MBE will set the scene by drawing on his research amongst the Queensberry Estate plans at Drumlanrig Castle.  (He served as Director of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and chaired UK government and United Nations geographical advisory bodies.  Amongst a variety of other appointments he is an adviser to the publishers of The Times Atlas of the World.)  
Archie McConnel (a local sawmiller and timber merchant who has lately been encouraging interested parties to meet in the pub and talk about maps) will explain how the project came about and what proving work has been done already.  The structure of the planned organisation and an outline of projected work will be presented.

In conclusion, we will have a panel made up of the speakers and also some of the experts and interested parties who have already engaged with the project.
The bar will be open and it is intended that this will be a social event as well as an evening of interest so please arrive early and leave late.  It is planned to have a small exhibition of maps.


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