Hawick Heritage Hub

Hawick Heritage Hub

Hawick Heritage Hub, the Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre, has been using social media to great effect to drive interest in the area???s archives.

Through ‘Voyage of the Vampire’, readers were able to follow the life and travails of Sir George Henry Scott Douglas, a captain in the 34th Regiment of Foot, through a series of online blogs. Entries were set up to appear in ‘real time’, allowing readers to follow George on his ship The Vampire between April 1846 and January 1847, with the latest instalments being promoted via Twitter.

Paul Brough, Archive Manager says: “The Vampire diary was received as part of a collection donated to the Heritage Hub in 2008 and is one highlight from a rich collection of diaries and papers from Sir George and the wider family”.

People sometimes perceive archives as forbidding places when in actual fact they are full of colourful resources which can really bring history to life. The Vampire diary in particular presents a vivid and gritty social history of the era. We therefore came up with the idea of presenting the diary as a blog as a way of challenging people’s perceptions, showcasing the potential of archives and providing access to a wider audience.

The blog has been so successful that we’ve now rolled out ‘Charlotte’s Diary’, the story of George’s sister’s pursuit of love!