Best laid plans: why I don’t work at a desk


Open Book

Today, we revisit the NRS Conservation studio with conservator Jackie Thorburn, who tells us about the unique challenges that her team deal with – including conservation of gigantic maps of Scotland and historic plans …

I’ve worked in the NRS Conservation department since 1992 and am no stranger to working on maps and plans. They come in all shapes and sizes but this one I shall never forget. Here is my tale of the “biggest plan I have worked on”.

When it arrived in the studio, such was its size and condition that it was difficult to unroll. I had to use the catalogue to find out what it was.

Laid before me was: ‘A map of Scotland from the latest surveys’, published in London in 1806 by John Stockdale.

Made up of twelve individual engravings, overlapped to form one cohesive map, it was lined with linen and mounted onto…

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