When Scran first started, way back in 1997, it stood for Scottish Cultural Resources Archive Network. And if you’re reading this, you probably know that Scran is the go-to source for Scottish cultural and historical content, from the Roy Map to pictures of Sean Connery. But you may have also come across images, videos and sounds from other parts of the world while clicking around. This is no accident. Even though Scran is very much a Scottish-based and Scottish-focused website, we’ve always had one eye on the rest of the world. After all, the Scottish museums, archives, galleries and libraries that contribute to Scran don’t just collect and display Scottish artefacts- the Kelvingrove has a Dali painting, the National Museums of Scotland have French advertising posters, while the Scottish National Galleries have great collections of Italian coins. In addition, Scran is proud to host amazing images from around the world by Scottish photographers such as Gerry McCann.
Perhaps the most prolific Scottish photographer on Scran is Cairns Aitken. We were first introduced to Cairns about 5 years ago, when he was looking for a home for his huge number of digitised photos on a number of diverse subjects, from buildings to wildlife to art, all taken in the last 50 years. These were taken all over the world, during his employment as an academic physician/psychiatrist, from South Africa in the 1950s to Crete, Hong Kong and Costa Rica in more recent times.
We’re continuing to add more material to Cairns’ existing content on Scran, and from December to February, we’re planning to highlight his diverse imagery on Scran in a series of tweets via @Scranlife, one per day, for 80 days. Look out for the hashtag #AroundTheWorldIn80Days to see images from Russia, Qatar, Canada, Morocco, Nepal, Ecuador and beyond.