Home > About the Murdoch Munro Collection

About the Murdoch Munro Collection

image of Mary and Murdoch

Contact Information Site owner: Erika Nygard Contact: email me at eanygard@gmail.com

Collection Description

The Murdoch Munro Collection is a collection of letters, documents, photographs and items which belonged to Lance Corporal Murdoch Munro (1895-1961) of the 1/4th Seaforth Highlanders (a regiment of the British Army mainly from the northern Highlands of Scotland). He served in World War I between 1914-1919. He was also my grandfather.

Most of the letters were written during his service with the 4th Seaforth Highlanders and as part of the 51st Highlanders on the Western Front in France. They were addressed to his sister Mary (Mairi) Campbell Munro. The earliest dates from December 2nd 1914, and the last was sent on 16th January 1919 toward the end of his service. Some letters were written in Le Havre and Calais (France), however Murdoch did not typically reveal his exact location. He was awarded a Military Medal for an act of gallantry on 23rd March 1918.

Other items in this collection include four photographs; three taken in the area of Ardcharnich near Loch Broom, Wester-Ross (Scotland) which is where Murdoch came from. The other is a real photo postcard of the 4th Seaforths boarding the train from Dingwall to presumably Bedford (England), on 10th August 1914, and ultimately on their way to the Western Front in France.

The documents in the collection include one of Murdoch’s soldier paybooks beginning 26th August 1916, a ‘Protection Certificate and certificate of Identity’ dated February 1919, a ‘Gallantry on Active Service’ card, a hospital slip from the Scottish National Red Cross General Hospital (Glasgow, Scotland) dated 14th June 1918, and a ‘Certificate on Demobilization’ dated 1st March 1919. Objects in the collection include a small scrapbook with a pressed leaf and poppy petal, a wooden tobacco cabinet, a pipe, medals, and a ghurka knife. Another item in the collection is a Christmas card, undated, with the Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs) motif.

The main collection has been split into smaller collections for easier browsing: letters, photographs, documents, postcards, envelopes, and objects. There is also a collection of his medals. Some objects and documents are still waiting to be uploaded onto this site.

Browsing the Collection

  • By parts of the collection - Based on the type of item: Correspondence, Photographs, Objects, Documents.
  • By Tags - Items have been tagged based on identified names, places, year, concepts, events. You may browse all items associated with, for example, a certain year, or all letters mentioning a named person, etc.
  • Locations - Discover some of the locations Murdoch is at, or that he mentions in his letters. Some locations are currently being identified by the post marks on letters and envelopes and is still in progress.
  • Map browser - Browse items based on their associated location. For example, where a letter was written. Some items have yet to be mapped.
  • Discover People - Murdoch mentions quite a few people in his letters. This page will continue to be updated as more information is obtained.

Site and Project Information

Background of the Collection

The items have been handed down through the family of Mary Campbell Spence (nee Munro) (Murdoch's sister) to Murdoch's son Keith Ross MacLean Munro, and are under the ownership of the Munro family. I hope this project provides access to the extended family, as well as anyone interested for its research and historical value.

Website Creation

Website created: January - present 2020.

This project began in the spring of 2020, as a research project toward my Masters Degree in Library and Information Science (Kent State University- Ohio -USA).

Preserving the items of this collection and making them available to others was an important reason for this project. Many of the letters are very fragile, have foxing (browning), signs of age and handling. Some of the photographs are damaged, two significantly so and extremely fragile. It was important to prevent further damage by minimizing further handling.

The initial scanning of letters, postcards, and documents was done in 2017 using a domestic scanner. Other objects have been photographed with an iPhone 10. This is because I live in another country from the collection and currently have limited access. It is hoped that new images will be taken to improve image quality.

Descriptive metadata was created recording important elements of the items.


Images: The images of items in this collection are owned by Erika Nygard. You may use these images for educational purposes, please provide credit where possible. Images not taken or owned by me and used on this website are by permission by the owners. All efforts have been taken to seek such permission. Please do not use these images without seeking the owner's permission. I cannot grant that permission. These images will be shown with copyright notices and links to the owner's website.

Content: If you wish to use any of the content of this website or of the items in the collection for educational or research purposes you are welcome to do so. Please acknowledge the work with a link back to this site. Thank you.


Dr. Marcia Zeng - Professor at the School of Information - Kent State University. I am so grateful to and would like to thank Dr. Zeng for all the encouragement, advice and support helping me to fulfill the aims of this project.

Gerry Sweeney - Thank you so much for scanning all these letters and documents. It must have taken you ages! It was such a huge help to have these files. ​

Ian McLeod and the staff of the Dingwall Museum http://www.dingwallmuseum.co.uk/index.html - Dingwall (Scotland). The museum contains a collection of artifacts of the Seaforth Highlanders, and were very helpful in my research. Thank you so much!

Technical Aspects -

Metadata: Application Profile, Specifications and Crosswalks (VRA Core 4.0 to Dublin Core Crosswalk and Schema.org). - Click to download file.

Other aspects - contact me for more information.

  • Item Records - CSV file
  • Examples of XML Files. Also, XML item files may be downloaded on each item's page.
  • Ontology (created using Protege)
  • Name authority and sample RDFa markup

References and Attributions

  • Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
  • VRA Core 4.0 schemas Copyright (c) 2007 Visual Resources Association (VRA).The VRA Core 4.0 schemas and documentation are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
  • VRA Core schemas (http://www.loc.gov/standards/vracore/)