In summer 1997, the The National Piping Centre released its first ever publication, which was called Notes. It was an eight-page, single-colour newsletter which was mainly promoting activities attached to the fledgling Piping Centre, which was only one year old at that time. The Notes publication eventually grew into a quarterly magazine with 24 pages before it reached its final issue, in December 2002.
Piping Today magazine was the publication which took over from Notes, and was first released in October 2002. It was described in Roddy MacLeod’s first editorial as the amalgamation of Notes and Piping World, which was a magazine produced by Magnus Orr. Piping Today was published continually for 20 years with the final issue being released in May 2020 as we were all feeling the effects of the Covid lockdown. The content covered every aspect of piping: current news; historical articles; interviews with Pipe Majors, top solo pipers and trad musicians; music theory articles; CD and book reviews; photo features from major championships and festivals; new product reviews; and articles on bagpipe traditions from all over the world.
In 2018, the College of Piping was incorporated as part of The National Piping Centre and that transition brought the famous Piping Times to The National Piping Centre as a sister magazine for Piping Today. Piping Times was, and still is, a well-loved publication which had a 75-year lifespan from 1948 to April 2020, coming to an end during the first Covid lockdown. Piping Times must have covered every topic possible in its 75 years but surely it is most well known for its editorials.
With these two magazines coming to an end, the staff in The National Piping Centre felt there was a need to preserve and make them accessible online. So a Crowdfunder campaign was launched which was a great success and achieved the funds needed to digitise, and make searchable, the full catalogues of Notes, Piping Today and Piping Times.
When the Crowdfunder and project got underway to digitise Piping Times and Piping Today, a decision was taken to also include Piping and Dancing, which was published from 1935 till 1941, and The International Piper, published by Captain John A. MacLellan MBE from 1978 till 1981. The website also holds the Noting the Tradition Oral History archive, as well as photo galleries. Head over for a look now at this incredible archive website – https://archives.thepipingcentre.co.uk/