Thursday, 10 June 2010

Robert Smail's Printing Works Archive

A new website with the first digitised additions from the archive of Robert Smail's Printing Works in Innerleithen has gone online at

Smail's printing works opened in 1866 and closed in 1986; it has since been taken over and run as a museum by the National Trust for Scotland. Rather uniquely, the firm kept a copy of every single thing they printed in a series of 'Guardbooks', basically large bound volumes of the local newspaper, passenger tickets, ledgers, personal correspondence and more. These are now being digitised and indexed, and contain a wealth of valuable genealogical information from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The first records to be indexed have been those of the Passenger Ticket Archive, now available at

An article on the printing works and museum was published in Ancestors magazine issue 75, November 2008. The museum itself is located at 7-9 High Street, Innerleithen, Tel: 0844 493 2259.

(With thanks to Borders FHS)

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