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OU on the BBC: History of Scotland - About the series

Updated Thursday, 5th November 2009

Discover how we'll be decoding the secrets of the past. Find out more about the series

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Shetland Isles seen from the air Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC

Bringing alive the past, which has shaped modern Scotland, is at the heart of a major initiative Scotland’s History from BBC Scotland.

This continuing landmark series, which is being co-produced with the Open University, is the catalyst for a raft of radio programming, a new website, interactive game, audio walks, concerts and events going through to late 2009.

Joint Head of Programmes at BBC Scotland, Maggie Cunningham, says:

This is a project to reach and engage as wide as possible a range of people across the country with up-to-date analysis of Scotland’s history.

We are one of the oldest countries in the world and have a rich and eventful history to back that up. It is also liberally doused with mythology we tend to hold onto, but which doesn’t reflect more current academic thinking that has emerged over the last 10 to 15 years.

This is a good time to review Scotland’s history and our place in the world and to do that through the technology of our age which lets audiences get excited about the subject not only through the marvels and beauty of HD photography on television, but through radio and the internet.

To coincide with the programmes, we're providing a series of audiowalks featuring Neil Oliver. Neil will be narrating walks around historic parts of Scotland - some urban, some rural.

Peter Syme, the Scottish Director of the Open University, explains why the OU is delighted to be involved:

The Open University is proud to be associated with the BBC in producing A History of Scotland. The audio walks and other options presented in this site are a further contribution from the OU to enrich your experience of Scotland’s history. All these resources are backed by the OU’s wealth of experience and its academic strength, stretching back 40 years.

As the largest provider of part-time higher education in the country, we are committed to extending opportunity for the people of Scotland, and beyond, to learn about the forces that have shaped our nation. The series and the supporting materials and activity that go with it are part of the OU’s wider commitment to Scotland, as a unique and valued national asset.

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If you’re interested in finding out more about Scotland’s part in the industrial revolution, and in particular about Dundee and the jute industry, watch out for Brian Cox’s Jute Journey.

Hollywood actor Brian Cox is a son of Dundee. He grew up amid the clatter of the jute mills, where both his parents began their working lives. The jute trade dominated Dundee for over a century, linking it with Calcutta. This documentary journeys into Brian Cox's past, and on to Calcutta in the footsteps of the jute workers who left Dundee to seek their fortunes in India.





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