Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Darien documents go on display in Edinburgh

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Media captionDocuments relating to the failed Darien scheme have been handed over to the National Library of Scotland

A collection of key documents detailing the failed Darien project has been put on show at the National Library of Scotland for the first time.

The key of the Universe display shows documents belonging to both the Royal Bank of Scotland and the library.

Inspired by banker William Paterson, Scotland invested a large proportion of its wealth in setting up a colony in Central America in 1698.

It turned out to be a disaster. The exhibition runs until August.

The plan was to set up a trading colony in Darien, now Panama, in 1698. Thousands died during the expedition and Scotland was plunged into economic crisis.

Ultimately the failure of the scheme led to the Act of Union in 1707 and some academics have drawn parallels to the economic crisis of the present day.

Now, for the first time, rare documents that tell the story of the Darien project and its demise are on display at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh.

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