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A Publisher and His Friends - The John Murray Archive

This fascinating travelling exhibition tells the story of the Murray publishing family and their archive. The ideas and work of the Murray authors shaped the world we live in today, from discovering Africa’s interior, to tracing the origins of Man, and from inventing the precursor to the computer to orchestrating the perfect dinner party.

Intended as an introduction to this massive archive of over 150,000 items, the exhibition showcases three of the archives’ leading authors, Lord Byron, Isabella Bird Bishop and David Livingstone, chosen because of their links to Scotland. It takes the form of two ‘writing desks’ each with different displays to investigate. The two desks are fully interactive with items related to Byron, Bishop and Livingstone including maps showing their journeys, personal items and sound recordings of their writings. Visitors are encouraged to explore the desks and learn about John Murray and the people he worked with.

A second exhibition, “500 Years of Scottish Printing - Dumfries and Galloway” will run along side a “A Publisher and His Friends” and provide a local twist to the story. It traces the history of printing in Dumfries and Galloway from the first weekly newspapers to the ascendancy of the three great printing firms of Maxwell, Dinwiddie and Grieve, with a combined workforce of 250 by the 1950s. It is complemented by an exhibition of books, leaflets and other ephemera from Dumfries Museum’s reserve collections.