Find out more about - the National Trust for Scotland | Robert Smail’s Printing Works | Contact Us
Robert Smail and Sons was a family business of jobbing printers in Innerleithen, a small town in the Scottish Borders. The business lasted from 1866 to 1986 and provided a comfortable living for three generations of the Smail family.

The family were great believers in the adage … "If it’s nae broke dinnae fix it" … and new equipment was only purchased when there was a pressing need for it.

For most of its existence the Printing Works stuck to letterpress printing using hand set type. Since 1986 it has been a property of the National Trust for Scotland and it is now the only place in Scotland where this technology can still be seen in daily use.

Find out about the fascinating living history tours of Smail’s Printing Works, where you can become an apprentice for a day.

The Archive Team

When visitors enter the original office they are surrounded by pile upon pile of ledgers and brown paper parcels holding the business records for the once thriving Borders business. We are often asked, “What do they contain?”

Following an appeal in April 2006, a wonderful group of volunteers have enabled us to begin to answer this question.

Our core team of seven volunteers have already put in over a three hundred hours on the archive. They have made great advances in the goal to catalogue and index this phenomenal resource.

Click here to meet the Archive Team.