How did the people of Scotland find out about the everyday occurrences of life three hundred years ago? Well, the most likely answer would be broadsides, of course. From the 17th century to their demise near the end of the 19th century, broadsides were pinned up all over various public and quasi-public places for the general public, and gave vivid descriptions of various criminal acts, updates on royalty, and other subjects. Fortunately for contemporary users of the internet, the National Library of Scotland has digitized close to 1,800 of these documents and placed them online here. First-time visitors to the site will want to read the short background pieces that address how the broadsides were created, illustrated, and distributed throughout places like Edinburgh and Falkirk. Visitors can search the entire broadside collection, browse by individual title, or by subject, which include such topical divisions as ballads, religion, riots, and freemasonry. Engaging and entertaining, this site is definitely worth several visits.
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