Celebrating the bicentenary
of the birth of Dr David Livingstone

19 March 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of David Livingstone. This explorer, writer, missionary, medic and anti-slavery campaigner rose from humble beginnings in a Lanarkshire tenement to become celebrated as “Africa’s first freedom fighter.” Join us in rediscovering a man whose life and legacy has spanned continents.


The Nyangwe Diary: Shining New Light on Livingstone

An exciting exhibition which illustrates how cutting edge technology revealed a previously inaccessible Livingstone diary.

By 1871 Livingstone had been out of touch with home for years and had run out of writing paper and ink, so he improvised the materials for his diary by writing over an old copy of The Standard newspaper with ink made from the seeds of a berry. The resulting text was almost completely illegible and it is only thanks to recent developments in spectral imaging technology that it can finally be revealed. The diary covers an important period of Livingstone’s life, and includes a horrifying eye-witness account of the massacre of some 400–500 villagers by Arab slave traders.

Image: Before and after images of Livingstone's 1871 Field Diary. Previously inaccessible it is now restored thanks to cutting-edge spectral imaging technology.


To see more events at the David Livingstone Centre, please click here.


Where & when


David Livingstone Centre, 165 Station Road, Blantyre, G72 9BY, Scotland

Date & time

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 - Tue, 24 Dec 2013
Mon - Sat 10.00 - 17.00, Sun 12.30 - 17.00


This is an old event, tickets are no longer for sale


National Trust for Scotland

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Thanks to our principal sponsors

National Trust for Scotland Scotland Malawi Partnership Scottish Government