Digital gallery

Here you can view digitised material from the National Library of Scotland's outstanding collections.

Browse these features by subject category   |   Search within these features   |   List these features in A-Z order

Experiences of the Great WarExperiences of the Great War
The First World War experiences of four very different people — the General, the Nurse, the Soldier, and the Conscientious Objector.
Rolls of honourRolls of honour
Scottish listings of casualties and those who died while on active service during the First World War.
 
British military listsBritish military lists
Details of officers who served in the British Army, Navy and Air Force in the First and Second World Wars.
First World War official photographsFirst World War official photographs
Black-and-white photographs mainly of the Western Front during the First World War. From the papers of Field Marshal (Earl) Haig.
 
Blighty and Sea PieBlighty and Sea Pie
Editions of two magazines published for Britain's fighting forces between 1917 and 1919, with pictures, stories, poems and humour.
Scottish clubs publicationsScottish clubs publications
Historical texts from the 12th-19th centuries, edited by Scottish clubs, including manuscripts, church records, diaries, legends and literary texts.
 
Scottish Post Office directoriesScottish Post Office directories
Find where people lived and traded in Scotland between 1774 and 1911 by searching and browsing over 700 Post Office directories.
Map imagesMap images
Further your family, local history or school project using this collection of thousands of zoomable maps of Scotland and beyond.
 
Scottish Screen ArchiveScottish Screen Archive
Watch films from Scotland's national moving images collection, which preserves over 100 years of Scottish history on film and video.
The word on the streetThe word on the street
Discover early news stories and ballads that informed and entertained Scots between 1650 and 1910 as you browse around 1,800 broadsides.
 
Scottish Science Hall of FameScottish Science Hall of Fame
A tribute to 10 great Scottish scientists of the past. Read transcripts of letters, papers and published works about or by them.
Robert BurnsRobert Burns
The life, work and legacy of Scotland's Bard, together with fascinating detail about original material in the Library's collections, and short song clips.
 
Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialectPoems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect
Read page by page the first published collection of poems by Robert Burns, known as 'The Kilmarnock edition', printed in 1786.
The last letter of Mary Queen of ScotsThe last letter of Mary Queen of Scots
Read, in English and French, the last letter by Scotland's 16th-century queen, written only hours before her execution in Fotheringhay Castle.
 
Robert Louis StevensonRobert Louis Stevenson
A biography of story-teller and poet Robert Louis Stevenson, along with digitised early editions of 'Kidnapped' and other works.
Early Gaelic book collectionsEarly Gaelic book collections
Several hundred books in Gaelic and other Celtic languages, plus works about the Gaels, their languages, literature, culture and history
 
The Auchinleck ManuscriptThe Auchinleck Manuscript
Middle English language and literature as Chaucer would have known it, contained in this rare document, with a full transcription.
Medical history of British IndiaMedical history of British India
Search 426 volumes of rare official documents recording disease prevention and public health in India in the 19th and 20th centuries.
 
Special collections of printed musicSpecial collections of printed music
Volumes from two archives featuring 18th and 19th century Scottish printed music, and from one archive of the works of Verdi.
12 key Scottish plays 1970-201012 key Scottish plays 1970-2010
Introducing 12 of the major plays and major playwrights of Scotland. See images from theatre productions and related archive material.
 
Theatre posters 1870-1900Theatre posters 1870-1900
A glimpse of the theatre in 19th-century Edinburgh — posters and photos of shows, pantomime characters, and actors and actresses of the day.
Playbills of the Theatre Royal EdinburghPlaybills of the Theatre Royal Edinburgh
Find out about this important theatre in the 19th century by searching through our selection of playbills.
 
Pencils of lightPencils of light
Delve into photographic history with 300 images taken in the 1840s by the Edinburgh Calotype Club - the world's first photography society.
Muriel SparkMuriel Spark
Using material from her personal archive, we tell the story of the life and career of one of Scotland's greatest novelists, Dame Muriel Spark.
 
Genealogical collections concerning families in Scotland 1750-1751Genealogical collections concerning families in Scotland 1750-1751
Volume one of Walter Macfarlane's collection of genealogies of ancient Scottish families, compiled around 1750.
Golf in Scotland 1457-1744Golf in Scotland 1457-1744
Take a swing through golf's early history. Key documents, including the first 'rules' of the game, show how golf developed in Scotland.
 
Sporting photosSporting photos
Who are the people in these photos of sporting events in Scotland around the late 19th century? Can you help us find out?
Scotland's pagesScotland's pages
Move along the timeline of key events in Scottish history, and discover along the way some of the 'treasures' held by the Library.
 
First Scottish booksFirst Scottish books
See online, page by page, 'The Chepman and Myllar Prints' — nine of the earliest books printed in Scotland, in or around 1508.
The Murthly HoursThe Murthly Hours
View each page of this book of prayer dated 1280 — one of the most richly illustrated manuscripts in Scotland during the Middle Ages.
 
Propaganda — a weapon of warPropaganda — a weapon of war
A selection of images of British Government propaganda which was used at home and in Europe during the Second World War.
Scots abroadScots abroad
Read and hear six stories of Scots who emigrated to start a new life between the 1770s and the 1930s.
 
Slezer's ScotlandSlezer's Scotland
Dozens of zoomable engravings show us Scottish towns, castles and palaces from the 17th-century, as seen by military surveyor John Slezer.
Gazetteers of Scotland, 1803-1901Gazetteers of Scotland, 1803-1901
Browse and search 20 volumes of the most popular descriptive gazetteers of 19th-century Scotland, covering towns, counties, parishes, glens and more.
 
Scotia depictaScotia depicta
Castles, abbeys, battle grounds, harbours and landscapes in Scotland are among the subjects in this 19th-century book of engravings and descriptions.
Biographical dictionary of eminent ScotsmenBiographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen
Biographies of famous Scotsmen and some women, mostly of the 16th to the 19th centuries. Over 30 engraved portraits.
 
Hutton drawingsHutton drawings
Documents and drawings of Scottish castles, landscapes, churches and other religious buildings, collected by George Henry Hutton.
Chalmers' 'Caledonia'Chalmers' 'Caledonia'
Five volumes about the counties of Scotland, published in 1887. Includes parish histories and a dictionary of places.
 
The photographs of John ThomsonThe photographs of John Thomson
Find out about the Scottish photographer and traveller who helped pioneer photojournalism on London's Victorian streets.
Scottish history in printScottish history in print
Two major Jacobite sources are online as keyword searchable files, together with details of thousands of works published by historical clubs.
 
The spread of Scottish printingThe spread of Scottish printing
Trace the spread of printing across Scotland from 1508 to 1900. Read an early item produced in each of the first 33 printing towns.
Churchill: The evidenceChurchill: The evidence
The life and times of Winston Churchill, MP for Dundee before he became a wartime Prime Minister. Features schools resources.
 
Soviet postersSoviet posters
Around 70 posters issued in the Soviet Union between 1919 and1930, relating to the Russian Civil War and economic and social issues.
The Gutenberg BibleThe Gutenberg Bible
Read our rare copy of the first book to be printed with moveable type. Johannes Gutenberg printed it in Germany around 1455.
 
Military maps of ScotlandMilitary maps of Scotland
Maps and plans made for government troops by the Board of Ordnance during the Jacobite period in the 18th century.
The Blaeu AtlasThe Blaeu Atlas
The first Atlas of Scotland, printed in 1654, containing 49 engraved maps, and 154 pages of descriptive text translated from Latin.
 
The Bartholomew ArchiveThe Bartholomew Archive
Read about the remarkable record of mapmaking and printing by the world-famous Bartholomew firm in Edinburgh from 1820 to 2002.
The Duncan Street ExplorerThe Duncan Street Explorer
Photos, audio recordings, floor plans and more help tell the story of the famous Bartholomew mapmakers of Edinburgh.
 
Phoebe Anna TraquairPhoebe Anna Traquair
Examine in detail Traquair's exquisite illuminated manuscript of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 'Sonnets from the Portuguese'.
The Aberdeen BreviaryThe Aberdeen Breviary
See the Latin church service book that was the reason printing was introduced to Scotland. Printed in Edinburgh in 1510.
 
A guid causeA guid cause
The history of women's suffrage in Scotland, with photographs, newspaper reports, diary entries and other sources. Activities for secondary schools.
English balladsEnglish ballads
Browse over 2,300 broadside ballads, mostly from 19th-century England, with subjects ranging from courtship, occupations and emigration to patriotism and wars.
 
Jacobite prints and broadsidesJacobite prints and broadsides
Portraits of people and illustrations of events relating to the Jacobite Rebellions in Scotland in 1715 and 1745-1746.
Scottish bridgesScottish bridges
Photographs showing the building of the Forth Bridge, taken from 1886-1887, and the Tay Bridge after its collapse in 1879.
 
Northern lightsNorthern lights
Explore the spirit of enquiry, debate, and improvement which characterised the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century.
Getting started with ShakespeareGetting started with Shakespeare
Resources to help primary and secondary school pupils understand some of Shakespeare's works by exploring scenes and characters or writing sonnets.
 
Shakespeare collectedShakespeare collected
View early editions of William Shakespeare's plays. Create a digital Shakespeare scrapbook and add your own images and text.
Out of Africa: The Kirk papersOut of Africa: The Kirk papers
An overview of the personal papers of Sir John Kirk, a British Consul in Africa who explored the Zambesi with David Livingstone.
 
Scottish decorative bookbindingScottish decorative bookbinding
Distinctive examples of bookbinding created in Scotland, from our pre-eminent collection of decorative bindings, which spans 500 years.
Photographs of the south side of EdinburghPhotographs of the south side of Edinburgh
Black-and-white photos of tenements and shops around St Leonards, Edinburgh, taken in 1929 by Alfred Henry Rushbrook.
 
The Moir Rare Book CollectionThe Moir Rare Book Collection
Learn about John William Moir's collection of rare books on all aspects of bees and beekeeping, including how bees 'sing'!
The write stuffThe write stuff
Modern Scottish writers — among them J K Rowling, Liz Lochhead and George Mackay Brown — through the lens of photographer Gordon Wright.
 
James VI and the Union of the CrownsJames VI and the Union of the Crowns
A look at the union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603, and the monarch who wanted to lead a peaceful, united Britain.
Morall fabillis of Esope the PhyrgiaMorall fabillis of Esope the Phyrgia
'Aesop's Fables' put into Scots by 15th-century poet Robert Henryson, who lived in Dunfermline. This edition printed in 1571 in Edinburgh.