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Robert Smail's and Sons was run as a family business for three generations and all the Smail's could be considered hoarders.

Cowan Smail (the third generation) never modernised and also rarely threw things away and so now the Trust has a huge range of items relating to the business and private life of the family.

Printers by law had to keep a copy of every job for 6 months; the Smail's did that for nearly 100 years.

It has in its collections 52 Guardbooks containing copies of everything they printed, alongside 52 bound volumes of the St. Ronan's Standard (the town newspaper, printed by Smail's for 25 years) and over 300 1/4" glass plate negatives taken by R C Smail.

This is on top of bundles of invoices and ledgers pertaining to the day-to-day running of the business and boxes of personal correspondence. The Trust still runs Smail's as an operational printing works so there are new additions to the guard book collections. If you would like to arrange a visit to access the physical archive materials please get in touch.

You can visit find out more about other Borders organisation’s archives at the Borders Family History Society and Hawick Heritage Hub websites.