Music & song

Chapbooks printed in Scotland

Chapbooks printed in Scotland

Small cheap booklets sold on Scotland's streets were essential reading material for the masses in the 18th and 19th centuries.

English ballads

English ballads

Browse over 2,300 broadside ballads, mostly from 19th-century England, with subjects ranging from courtship, occupations and emigration to patriotism and wars.

Rare items in Gaelic

Rare items in Gaelic

Books, pamphlets and chapbooks printed in Gaelic between 1631 and 1900. Includes songs, poetry and religious books.

Robert Burns

Robert 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.

Special collections of printed music

Special 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.

Street literature about Napoleon's Wars

Street literature about Napoleon's Wars

Chapbooks about events from the 1790s to the Battle of Waterloo, mostly ballads about military conflicts with Napoleon Bonaparte.

The word on the street

The 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.

Wee Windaes

Wee Windaes

This site charts the continuum of the Scots language in printed form, from the 15th century to the present day.