Poorhouses – and the case study of Mary Howie

Can you imagine what it would be like to be blind or partially sighted a hundred years ago?

Seeing Our History is an RNIB Scotland project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, that explores this question in Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders. Our volunteers have researched the lives of those referred to as the 'outdoor blind', because they didn't live in blind institutions.

In this series of podcasts, you can experience their struggles and successes, brought to life through the real experiences of people with sight loss.


In this podcast, we focus on the places of last resort for the friendless and destitute, and we hear the story of Mary Howie who avoided the poorhouse throughout her life but died in a poorhouse turned NHS hospital.

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Image: Research Volunteer Joan shares her experience from researching the podcast on poorhouses