The MacKinnon Collection contains more than 14,000 images spanning 100 years of Scottish life. It has been jointly acquired by the National Library of Scotland and National Galleries of Scotland.
Put together by photography enthusiast Murray MacKinnon, the collection covers a wide range of subjects, including family portraits, street scenes, working life, sport, transport, and landscapes.
These photographs show how much Scotland changed from the 1840s — the early days of photography — to the 1940s.
They record day-to-day lives and social and economic changes that affected them as a result of industrialisation, war, and advancements in medicine and technology.
Highlights of this remarkable historic collection include:
- More than 600 original photographs from the pioneering days of photography featuring work from David Octavius Hill (1802-1870) and Robert Adamson (1821-1848), James Ross (d.1878) and John Thomson (d.1881), Cosmo Innes (1798-1874) and Horatio Ross (1801-1886)
- Some of the finest work of Thomas Annan (1829-1887) and his son, James Craig Annan (1864-1946) including rare examples of their original albumen prints
- Fine examples of the work of Scotland's successful commercial photographers including George Washington Wilson (1823-1893) and James Valentine (1815-1880)
- Portraits of Scottish regiments from the Crimean War by Roger Fenton (1819-1869)
- A series of albums and prints depicting life in the main towns and cities from the late 1800s and early 1900s
- Studies of farming and fishing communities in remote villages and hamlets
- Scenes of shipbuilding, railways, herring fishing, weaving, whisky distilling, dockyards, slate quarries and other working environments.
Support and development
Acquired as a result of a special collaboration between the National Library of Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland, the purchase of the collection has been supported by the Scottish Government, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund.
Plans are being developed for the collection to be digitised and made available online over three years from 2018. A major exhibition will be held at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, followed by touring exhibitions around Scotland.