In June 2014, we appointed our first Writer-in-Residence – poet and author Hazel Buchan Cameron. Hazel has published four poetry pamphlets, including The Currying Shop (2007), which was joint winner of the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award in 2008, and Finding IKEA (2011).
Over the summer of 2014, Hazel worked part-time with Josh Morris, an aspiring young writer, mentoring him in a variety of writing skills and approaches, and using the collections and history of the RSGS as a source of inspiration.
With some 200,000 maps and 40,000 books, a bulging archive, and an association with many of the world’s most famous scientists, explorers, adventurers and educationalists, the RSGS has been described as a repository of some of the best stories of the past century and a half. “There are so many inspiring people’s stories connected to the Society it is hard to draw breath,” Hazel commented.
RSGS Chief Executive Mike Robinson was very enthusiastic: “We are grateful to the project funders, Creative Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council, for giving us this opportunity to introduce Hazel and Josh to our collections. It has been really rewarding seeing them become more and more engrossed in discovering the many and varied stories hidden away. I genuinely believe there is something here to interest everyone.”
The project culminated in an exhibition in Perth Museum in late 2014.