How Philanthropy shapes Scotland: an online story map

Monday 18 September 2017

For the academic year 2017/18 we are starting a new research project on philanthropy in Scotland. Please find a short overview below.

If you have any stories, insights or examples that relate to philanthropy in Scotland, please get in touch.

Background: Scotland and philanthropy have a longstanding and inseparable relationship. Alongside being the birthplace of numerous famous philanthropists, Scotland has been, and continues to be, shaped through the gifts and actions of philanthropy.

Problem: While publications and resources on philanthropy in England and other geographic locations are readily available, to-date very limited material and resources exist on, and from within, Scotland. Even the most comprehensive examination of philanthropy in Scotland, Checkland’s (1980) ‘Philanthropy in Victorian Scotland’, was published almost 40 years ago: it is dated and focuses on a narrow historic timeframe.

Aim: Developing an online story map that offers a spatial and temporal account of philanthropy in Scotland, thereby allowing users to identify and learn about places of philanthropic interest: what is their history and role, what were philanthropy’s motives and drivers, what role and influence have these gifts had?

It is envisaged that the initial story map focuses on philanthropy within the areas of St Andrews, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Other parts of Scotland, such as Dundee, Dunfermline and Aberdeen, will subsequently be added to expand the map in line with the Centre’s work.

Impact: Offering an easily accessible introduction and overview of philanthropy’s historic and contemporary activities in Scotland, the map will contribute to wider learning, discussion and understanding of the philanthropy area, thereby informing and shaping public perceptions and knowledge of the field.

What we are looking for: Insights, knowledge, stories and material for populating the map.

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