The School of Scottish Studies

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The School of Scottish Studies was founded as a part of the University of Edinburgh in 1951 to collect, archive, research and discover everyday life in Scotland; its culture, and lively arts traditions.

Taking their cue from pioneering American folklorist Alan Lomax, and the mid-century Mass Observation movement, the school’s researchers work in the field recording audio and moving image with people across the  length and breadth of Scotland.

As the school celebrates its diamond anniversary, this documentary looks back at this vast and astonishing range of materials, which tell us as much about the time they were made in as about the lives they were seeking to capture. We look to the present and future, as we meet some current researchers as they continue the work. 

Directed by Joseph Briffa

Produced by John Archer

Broadcast on 30th November 2011, BBC Scotland