Preparing the history detectives

Staff from the University Archive and the School of History help primary school pupils to become history detectives

As part of the Engage Dundee Primary Schools, staff taught pupils how quill pens were made - and how to write with them. They explored a 19th century map of Dundee to find buildings and streets, to figure out what has survived, been lost and what's changed. Other activities saw pupils exploring the world of half-time schools, the three R's - and the tawse. And they investigated what illnesses over 100 years ago put children in their sick-bed - or worse, their graves.

The activities are all designed to introduce pupils to primary source material; to examine how archives look and feel, how they can be interrogated for the stories they hold, and how they relate to the children's lives. The Engage Dundee event was the first of many such educational activities, and Archive staff welcome enquiries from primary and secondary school teachers.