Council record offices hold a wealth of material about the history of your local area and its people. They also hold public and private records that document the adventures of travellers to faraway places. In the not so distant past, travel meant sailing in crowded and poorly ventilated ships to war, a penal colony, settlement in a new land or to a port of trade. Despite the difficulty of travel, merchants, scholars, soldiers, explorers and people aspiring to a new life ventured to distant places. They traded good and ideas, often irrevocably altering their places of conquest and settlement.
Local authority records document how local areas have been enriched by a variety of international influences and visitors over time. They can provide insight into the cultural, academic and economic contributions and exchanges brought to the local area by emigrants, visitors and businesses. While records from the West Lothian Archive document Bob Taylor’s ‘close encounter’ with a UFO, Edinburgh City’s Alien Registers record the array of international artists, scientists, musicians and merchants who travelled to the capital throughout and following the Napoleonic Wars. The Midlothian Archives hold the 1920’s travel diary of Dalkeith native Dr. Frederick Lucas which gives vivid glimpses into the last phases of the ‘British Raj’ in India. If you are interested in browsing records of alien encounters or an interactive map charting Dr. Lucas’ 1920′s travel diary, click on the links below or visit the ‘The Discover the Records’ section on the homepage.