A HISTORY graduate has created a new exhibition which delves into a wartime propaganda campaign by a world-famous Scottish author.

Emma Small spent eight weeks researching the work of The Thirty Nine Steps’ author John Buchan after securing an internship with the museum named after him in Peebles.

The 22-year-old carried out research about John when he was the director of information which involved making effective use of Britain’s war-time propaganda campaign.

The University of Sunderland history graduate’s work resulted in a centenary exhibition tracing Buchan’s progress from 1916 to 1919, and how his position influenced his novel Mr Standfast. Buchan, a historian, journalist, politician, soldier and public servant, is one of Scotland’s most famous authors. He is best known for his influential espionage novel, The Thirty Nine Steps, which has never been out of print since it was first published in 1915. His final role as Governor General of Canada, and the popularity of film adaptations of his novels, have also helped to give him an international reputation which continues to this day.

Dr Peter Worthington, chair of the John Buchan Story, said: “Without Emma’s contribution the current exhibition would not have been possible. She worked very thoroughly on researching John Buchan’s work in 1918 and the museum is extremely grateful for the opportunity to engage her as an intern. The exhibition has just opened but is already attracting considerable interest.”

Emma’s internship was arranged through the university’s graduate internships scheme, which is a paid work experience programme offered by employers to students and graduates looking to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field.

The internship linked in with the university’s School of Culture’s close collaboration with the John Buchan Society and Museum on a number of projects. These have included the digitisation of the society’s journal and the redevelopment of the museum’s website.

Emma said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my internship, it was interesting to put the skills I had learned in my degree to the test. Despite most of the information about John Buchan’s time as director of intelligence being lost, we were still able to uncover surprising details about the type of work he undertook.

“I was able to manage my own project and worked closely with the team at the museum and they were supportive throughout the project, funding my visit to Peebles and allowing me access to their resources. I have gained valuable skills that better prepare me for future job opportunities.”