The 2024 Ian MacDougall Memorial Lecture

National Library of Scotland


The 2024 Ian MacDougall Memorial Lecture will explore the lives of Peeblesshire textile workers and the process of telling their stories. It will take place on 4 April at the National Library of Scotland.

Border Mills: Lives of Peeblesshire Textile Workers is a new book based on a series of oral history interviews the late Ian MacDougall made with mill workers between 1996 and 2004. Charting a period of immense change across all aspects of textile manufacturing in the Scottish Borders, the book documents the lives and work of a generation who lived through both World Wars and worked in an industry in flux, with new innovations in mechanised processes and fibres.

Caroline Milligan, Researcher at the European Ethnological Research Centre, Edinburgh University, will discuss how she returned to Ian’s research as editor and recount the process of transforming a collection of oral history recordings from the archives into a publication. The book, published in collaboration with National Museums Scotland, will be available to purchase at the event.

Following Caroline’s talk, The Mills of Tweedale Project will give a presentation on their new oral history project, which aims to preserve the contemporary history and heritage of the Tweeddale textile industry. Launched in March 2023, this is a partnership between Peebles Civic Society and Peebles Library, Museum and Gallery, the Innerleithen Community Trust and the Walkerburn Community Development Trust.

Tickets for the lecture are bookable via… but some places are reserved for SLHS members. Please contact Stewart Maclennan via to book a reserved SLHS place.