Secret History of Our Streets

Mu26-a.29, sanitation map

Mu26-a.29, sanitation map


BBC2’s award winning series of The Secret History of Our Streets has returned with a second series focusing on three archetypal streets in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Episode Two  features Glasgow’s Duke Street.

To illustrate how Glasgow was laid out in Victorian times, this episode has used several images from a map contained in our volume Facts and Observations on the Sanitory State of Glasgow  by Robert Perry (1783-1848). Published in1844, this work relates to the fever epidemic of the previous year. Perry was attempting to demonstrate, through this colour-coded map, the link between bad sanitation, disease and poverty.

Mu26-a.29, title page

Mu26-a.29, title page

This fascinating episode of The Secret History of Our Streets was first broadcast in 1st August but is available on the BBC i-player. for the next week.


For more details and images from Perry’s volume, see

Categories: Library, Reflections, Special Collections

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