Archive staff can visit the classroom and provide hands-on experience of pupils’ history and culture. Archive collections hold unique evidence of the past, and our activities help pupils discuss and understand their heritage.

Coronation women and childrenUsing primary sources, pupils can begin to understand about the people that wrote the letters and journals, did the sums in the business ledgers, or took the photographs in the family album. Pupils become detectives, uncovering the lives and events of history. They can learn about WW1 and WW2, or uncover the lives of children and their families working in the jute mills - how many hours they worked, what dangers they faced, what schooling they received and the accidents that happened. They can learn about the environment, science, leisure and their local communities. Pupils are taught to write with quill pens and read old maps, plans and photographs to discover how Dundee has changed and developed.

Writing with quills

Barnhill out of school clubPupils are taught how to use feather quills and ink (washable), learning how 17th and 18th century documents were written. Shown how to handle and examine original records such as alphabet exercise books and our pirate execution order, pupils can then write their own letter, proclamation or list. Using wax seals, the pupils’ documents are then folded and closed for them to keep, along with their personal University of Dundee Scribe certificate.



Employment and health in Dundee

Employment & health admission registeUsing company accident ledgers and registers of admission to Dundee Royal Infirmary, pupils explore the diseases, ailments and accidents of 19th century Dundee. They learn how to use the records to find out what kinds of occupations employed the adults – and children – of the city and discover how jobs affected people’s health. Pupils also explore how the health system operated in the city, and examine issues like child mortality, epidemics and common illnesses.


The changing face of Dundee

Caird Hall & harbour 1960sUsing maps, plans and photographs, pupils trace change and development in the city. Through quizzes and discussion, they discover which streets and buildings have disappeared altered or remained, and how visual material helps us trace the life of the city through its harbours, roads, railways and factories. Pupils can also use the material to investigate social and cultural change in Dundee, exploring its health, educational and recreational facilities over two hundred years.


Tailored for teaching

Our collections cover a broad range of topics. We can tailor activities and visits to specific subjects and projects in accordance with the Curriculum for Excellence to compliment teaching within the classroom. Teaching across Early, First, Second, Third & Fourth and Senior Phase levels can be catered for using our wide resource of original documents. 

We are proud to be an accredited facilitator for the Children's University in Dundee. Children aged 5-14 years undertake learning activities and build up a Passport for Learning leading to a graduation. We can offer activities outwith school teaching hours, such as lunchtimes and out of school clubs by prior arrangement.  For further information on what we can offer please contact us