Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

In pictures: National gallery unveils astonishing exhibition of 100 years of pictures capturing changing face of Scotland

Post Thumbnail

If a picture is worth 1000 words, then the images in the MacKinnon Collection say more than a library full of history books.

Described as Scotland’s Photograph Album, some of its 14,000 images are on display for the first time since being purchased jointly by the National Galleries of Scotland and National Library last year.

Covering 100 years, from the 1840s to the 1940s, the images don’t just chronicle a changing nation, but also the early history of photography.

Murray MacKinnon, a photography enthusiast who ran a chain of film-processing shops in the 1980s, gathered the collection over a number of years. He later sold it to a private collector, but it is now in the possession of the public after a £1million acquisition.

The collection’s curator, Blake Milteer, said: “The century of Scottish history depicted in the photographs show great changes in Scottish life and achievements.

“We can also see the rapid developments in photo technology itself, with the collection beginning in the decade after photography was introduced. Much of what we are familiar with when it comes to photography really had its beginnings in that century.

“In terms of the technology of photography and as an art form, Scotland was at the forefront.

“In the 100 years represented, we see dramatic increases in tourism to Scotland and photographs in many ways contributed to that market.

“We also saw some groundbreaking photographers, such as English inventor William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the innovators of the first photographic processes, coming to Scotland. He made a series of photographs here and published it as one of the first monographs.”

Here, Blake talks about a few of the pictures on display and explains their significance.

Women’s Charity Football Match, 1930s, Scottish Pictorial Press.

This image and the hammer thrower, top right, shows how cameras captured split-second action, not possible in the earlier days the collection covers.

Dawn of Light and Liberty, 1920s, John D Stephen

Taken in Aberdeen, this is a metaphor and message – the promise of a new day, embodied in the milk boys, while liberty is captured in the statue of William Wallace.

AJ Stewart throws the hammer, Glenlivet, Unknown

In the early 20th Century, rising income saw more interest in sports. This image show advances in camera technology.

Ferry Boat At Kyle Of Lochalsh, 1870s-80s, George Washington Wilson

This isn’t the type of ferry service we’re accustomed to now. It’s useful to use this image in context with the Forth Bridge photo, as they were within two decades of each other, showing the technological advancements of the time.

Forth Bridge, 1888, George Washington Wilson

This shows the innovation of the Industrial Revolution, a true feat of engineering. I like to imagine what the men in the bottom left of the photo must have thought when they first saw the structure.

Strathmore Curlers Defeat The Throw, 1935, Star Photos, Perth

The camera angle used here is fascinating, taken low, right down on the ice. The whole scene feels in motion.

A Scottish Highlander, 1860, Andre Adolphe Eugene Disderi

Andre was a French photographer who invented the carte-de-visite technique. The method created multiple images, the size of a calling card, on a single sheet of paper, which were then cut and mounted.

Scotland’s Photograph Album: The MacKinnon Collection, Scottish National Portrait Gallery and National Library of Scotland, until February 16