This website is an archive of photographs that shows the experiences of people who have traveled to make Scotland their new home.

This is the first project of its kind to tell stories of migration through photographic images. We hope that it will be a useful tool for people who wish to represent their stories of where they used to live and the journey that brought them to Scotland.

The concept of emigration is well-known in Scotland through the history of the Highland Clearances and the achievements of pioneering Scots entrepreneurs abroad, but less is known of the experiences and identities of people who choose Scotland as a new home. In today’s society, notions of identity are no longer restricted to a sense of belonging to a specific place of residence and are increasingly enabled by the connectedness of on-line networks and travel abroad. Whether we consider the stories of families migrated from China, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland or elsewhere, the aim of this project is to reflect upon what the experience of migration involves.

The images in this archive can be of now and of the past – photography was invented around 1840 so we hope that this archive will include some of the first photographs ever recorded of people arriving in Scotland.

The images concentrate upon the experience of preparing for departure, journey and arrival, and are all ‘tagged’ with key words: Preparation, Departure, Journey, Arrival, Acclimatisation, Integration, Return. As the archive grows, the images can be searched in a number of ways: for example by the key words, by historical period and by location in order to create a grouping of images that starts to make visible the experience of migration.

Whether the images are of first, second, third or fourth generation immigrant, every image helps enrich the archive.

scotlandmigration was initiated in 2012 by Deirdre MacKenna and is owned by her cultural enterprise business Cultural Documents, registered in Scotland no 71917 49859. If you have any queries, please contact Deirdre on projects@dmackenna.com