Final Reflection

a) What have been the major obstacles you have faced in putting a research project together?

The first major obstacle I faced when attempting to put together a research project was determining a topic to focus on. I had decided to focus on an area surrounding the history of Native North Americans as I find this area of history extremely interesting. As I study Heritage and Tourism it felt very fitting to apply this interest in Native North American history to Museology. Upon the decision to put together a research project which focuses on the repatriation of Native North American indigenous objects from Scottish museums, I found the broad area of scholarship intimidating. This is due to the need to read scholarship on a wide range of areas such as the history of museums, perceptions of the traditional museum and developments occurring to actively decolonise the traditional museum, the collection and exhibition of ethnographic collections, repatriation policy and procedure in the United States and United Kingdom, specific case study examples of such repatriation from Scottish museums and the history and origins of such repatriated objects. As these broad areas of scholarship have required such in-depth reading to fully familiarise myself with the current debates and developments, this topic choice has proven to be a real challenge. It has however been a very rewarding and interesting process.

b) What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles?

To overcome these obstacles, I have been in regular contact with my supervisor who has recommended useful sources on my topic. I have also begun to compile and put together my bibliography as well as a word document of information from these sources in order to cover these scholarly areas fully. For the first time I have started to regularly click and collect books from the library which has helped me to compile my bibliography and information on specific scholarly areas. By doing this so early in the dissertation process it has alleviated much of the pressures and stress I was previously experiencing when intimidated by such a broad area of scholarship. Additionally, by doing this I now feel on track and confident to begin delving into my dissertation over the summer.

c) What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation?

This has taught me that preparation and organisation is key. With having a tendency to rely on the pressures of impending deadlines for motivation, I have learned the importance of being proactive. This has also taught me the necessity of being interested in your chosen dissertation topic as at times with so many sources to read it can become a very daunting process.

d) Which aspects of the 9X6 module have been the most useful in helping you get your project ready to start?

It would be difficult to determine aspects of the 9X6 module which have not been useful in helping to get my dissertation project ready to start. In my opinion all aspects of this module have been significantly useful in starting this project. However, since contacting my supervisor I have been able to narrow and develop my dissertation topic and gain extremely useful advice on such matters. Furthermore, seminars have been very useful by being able to speak to other students in breakout rooms and discuss different aspects of the dissertation project each week. The mini lectures have also aided my understanding of the dissertation writing process and have made me consider the importance of methodology which I had not considered prior to this module.

Annotated Bibliography – Nadia Burnett

For my dissertation I plan to discuss the displacement of Scottish Highlanders to North America as they joined the colonising power of the Empire due to events such as the Jacobite uprising and the Highland Clearances. I would like to discuss whether or not, as a result of this, Scots and the indigenous people of North America were joined by shared imperial victimhood. As my topic is currently quite broad, I do intend to narrow my topic upon further research.

Secondary sources

  1. T. M. Devine, ‘The Scottish Nation, A Modern History’, (London: Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 2012).

I found this source when taking the ENGU9WH (Writing and History: Scotland and Empire) module this semester. This source provided me with my chosen dissertation topic. This source contains chapters titled: ‘The Disintegration of Clanship’ as well as ‘Highlandism and Scottish identity’ within part two: 1760-1830. These chapters give great detail to the loss of the old Highland way of life and as a result, changes to Scottish identity.

  1. T. M. Devine, ‘The Scottish Clearances – A history of the dispossessed, 1600-1900’, (London, The Penguin Press, 2018).

Due to the usefulness of T.M. Devine’s previous book The Scottish Nation, A Modern History, I searched for his other works and found this source. This source provides an insight to the violent changes and exploitation of the old Highland way of life for economic advancement.

  1. Dobson, David, ‘Scottish Emigration to Colonial America, 1607–1785’. (Athens; London: University of Georgia Press, 1994.) Available at:<>

When searching JSTOR for sources related to Scottish emigration to North America I found this source. This source contains a wealth of information which will provide an understanding of the significant contributions Scottish emigrants made to early American colonial settlements.

  1. Colin Galloway, ‘White People, Indians, and Highlanders: Tribal People and Colonial Encounters in Scotland and America’ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

This source was recommended to me by a potential supervisor. It provides similarities and differences between the colonial experiences of Indians and Scottish Highlanders. This source will be extremely useful in understanding the relationship between Indian and Scottish Highland people who were both tribal and clan like, living on the fringes of the empire.

Primary sources

  1. “News.” London Chronicle, May 19, 1763 – May 21, 1763. Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Burney Newspapers Collection (accessed February 4, 2021). Available at:<>

This source was found by searching the Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Burney Newspaper Collection. It is of special interest as it was published in 1763, the year in which the French withdrew their holdings enabling Britain to further expand their own holdings.

This source is an extract of a letter to Earl Temple; upon the probable motives and consequences of his Lordship’s conduct. Within this letter, there are several interesting and very useful quotations which give insight to a British perspective of North- American indigenous people:

“The North-American savages proclaim war, by hanging on the war-kettle to boil the prisoners they are to take in battle.”

  1. “Advertisements and Notices.” Whitehall Evening Post [1770], May 5, 1759 – May 8, 1759. Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Burney Newspapers Collection (accessed February 4, 2021). Available at:<>

This source was also found by searching the Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Burney Newspaper Collection. It details British naval chronicles of voyages, expeditions and conquests through Asia, Africa and America. The source contains varied information gained from these expeditions about the lands which they either conquered or had dealings with. This source is extremely useful as it is evidently written from a colonial perspective.

Nadia Burnett

Hello everyone! My name is Nadia, I am from Fife and currently live in Stirling. Like Emily and Eilidh I have also been extremely torn on what sort of heritage or history dissertation to do. For now I have decided to base my dissertation on Early Modern Scottish History. So far I have had a very good experience with online learning. I do however miss attending lectures and being able to speak face to face in seminar’s but have my fingers crossed for next semester!