History is not ‘just one thing after another’, as one of the characters in Alan Bennett’s ‘The History Boys’ puts it. It plays a fundamental role in shaping the nature of the present and the possibilities of the future. It’s a collection of stories. And the history of Scotland is filled with incredible stories: romances, tragedies, mysteries and thrillers. The survival of these stories depends very much on ‘the way we tell them’ to future generations.
Today their museums and visitor centers employ the skills and techniques of a myriad of designers, architects, curators, academics, writers, artists, model makers, digital animators and actors to bring our past to life. Scotland has been handing down its traditions for close to a thousand years now, since the earliest days of the clans in the twelfth century. But every generation adds the thumbprint of its own culture to the whole. Scottish traditions are not something sterile under glass and steel in a cold museum. They are vibrant, living things, constantly growing and evolving.