John Horsfield, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Caledonian Schools Trust, spoke about the ethical issues which arise in managing an archive which goes back to the Napoleonic Wars and which is still very much a 'live' archive:

The Caley, as it's affectionately known, was established in 1815 to help educate the sons and daughters of Scots who were serving, or who had served, in the armed forces, and the children of poor Scots in London.

"The Caley Archives are a virtual treasure chest for those interested in history, especially genealogy. Our collection consists of Order Books, Registers, Matron's Report Books, Pupil Files and numerous Minute Books. While recently looking for the records of a pupil who joined the Schools in the 1850s we made an important discovery - bound books of the earliest Petitions for Admission to the Schools and reports of some of the meetings when these petitions were considered. This means we may be able to provide even more information to relatives not only about these early scholars but also about those whose applications were not successful."


A short film made in 1943 at Barns Hostel and School in Scotland, with a narrative added in 1973 by its founding Warden, David Wills, was also shown.

Barns, the subject of David Wills' 1945 book, "The Barns Experiment", was established as a project of the Edinburgh Society of Friends at Barns House near Peebles in 1943, as an evacuation hostel and school for unbilletable boys. David Wills was an English Friend who, from 1936 until the end of 1939, had pioneered psychoanalytically-oriented group and environmental methods of working with difficult and disturbed young men at Hawkspur Camp in Essex, and is recognised as one of the seminal figures in the history of residential therapeutic child care in Britain. Barns Hostel and School was relaunched after the end of the war as Barns School, one of the first residential therapeutic schools for maladjusted children in Scotland. It closed in 1953.

Add comment

Security code