OTD 4 April 1508

Scotland’s first printers, Walter Chepman and Andro Myllar, completed printing John Lydgate’s poem The Complaint of the Black Knight, at their press in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

OTD 28 February 1803

Memorial of the Edinburgh Compositors to the Court of Session. This was a request from the compositors of Edinburgh that they be allowed to convene a meeting: the Combination Acts were in force at the time, preventing workmen from acting together to improve their conditions. Permission was granted and a request for an increase in […]

OTD 25 January 1817

The first ever edition of The Scotsman, or Edinburgh Political and Literary Journal was produced on Saturday, January 25 1817, from premises in Edinburgh’s High Street. It was originally published weekly, and became a daily newspaper in 1850. The proprietors announced that their first desire is to be honest, the second is to be useful.

OTD 19 January 1757

Thomas Ruddiman was born near Banff in 1674, son of a farmer, and was educated at the local grammar school and at Aberdeen University. After a period as a private tutor, and as the schoolmaster at Laurencekirk, he moved to Edinburgh in 1700 to become the assistant librarian at the Faculty of Advocates. He was […]

OTD 15 January 1826

Founded in Kelso in 1796, James Ballantyne was founded in Kelso in 1796. Archibald Constable, Scott’s publisher, commissioned Ballantyne to print his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, which led to the firm’s move to Edinburgh in 1802. After setting up near Holyrood, they moved to Foulis Close in the Canongate before settling in Paul’s Work, […]

Talk by Helen Williams

As part of the National Trust for Scotland’s Gladstone’s Land Lecture Series, the Trust’s Honorary Secretary, Helen S Williams will be giving a talk on August 31 on Edinburgh’s Print Workers and their Organisations. Printers had a tradition of collective organisation: the typographical societies, which later became the print unions, operated as welfare organisations for […]

Relief printmaking course at Edinburgh Printmakers

Edinburgh Printmakers are running courses on relief print-making from 10 November, taking place over a series of six weeks. For more details and information on how to book, see the EP website.

Typographic Surprise event in October

On Thursday 20 October 2022, the Trust’s Secretary, Helen Williams, is giving an online talk on Edinburgh in Print in the Typographic Surprises! series organised by the Printing Historical Society. This event is free and online but booking is required through this link.

Breaking the news exhibition

A pop-up display based on the British Library’s Breaking the News exhibition is on view at Edinburgh’s Central Library. The displays draw upon each library’s individual collection and regional connections to celebrate the value of regional news in communities across the UK. It is on display 4 July 4 August 2022. Breaking the News at […]

Edinburgh Printmakers open day

Edinburgh Printmakers is participating in Scotland’s Workshops Week with an Open Day on Saturday 9th April from 11am-4pm. Activities will include printmaking workshops, talks and printmaking demonstrations. All events and talks will be bookable in advance from Wednesday 30 March. For more details see the Edinburgh Printmakers website.