Social history

A guid cause

A guid cause

The history of the women's suffrage movement in Scotland, with photographs, newspaper reports, diary entries and other sources. Activities for secondary schools. Includes downloadable PDFs.

A Scots buik on the plague

A Scots buik on the plague

Scotland's first printed medical book (1568), written in Scots. Learn the history of the plague in Scotland. Downloadable learning activities.

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.

Experiences of the Great War

Experiences of the Great War

The First World War experiences of four very different people — the General, the Nurse, the Soldier, and the Conscientious Objector.

First World War official photographs

First 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.

Genealogical collections concerning families in Scotland 1750-1751

Genealogical 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 1457-1744

Golf 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.

Ladies' Edinburgh Debating Society publications

Ladies' Edinburgh Debating Society publications

Magazines representing a key moment in Scottish women's history. Published between 1865 and 1880, with general interest articles, fiction and poetry.

Lifting the lid

Lifting the lid

Explore Scotland’s natural larder, from the 17th century to the 21st, using items from our collections. Downloadable PDFs for teachers.

Moving Image Archive

Moving Image Archive

Watch films from Scotland's national moving images collection, which preserves over 100 years of Scottish history on film and video.

Oor Wullie: Guide to Scots language

Oor Wullie: Guide to Scots language

Oor Wullie an his pals hiv fun weys fur bairns tae learn Scots, an ideas fur parents an teachers.

Propaganda — a weapon of war

Propaganda — 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.

Publications by Scottish clubs

Publications by Scottish clubs

Historical texts from the 12th-19th centuries, edited by Scottish clubs, including manuscripts, church records, diaries, legends and literary texts.

Recipes from Scotland

Recipes from Scotland

Discover how the Scottish diet has changed over the centuries, read manuscript recipe books, and watch Sue Lawrence bake a cake.

Rolls of honour

Rolls of honour

Scottish listings of casualties and those who died while on active service during the First World War.

Scotland's pages

Scotland'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.

Scottish History Society publications

Scottish History Society publications

Original source material illustrating Scotland’s history from the 12th to 20th centuries, published by the Scottish History Society, with authoritative commentaries.

Scottish Post Office directories

Scottish Post Office directories

Find where people lived and traded in Scotland between 1774 and 1911 by searching and browsing over 700 Post Office directories.

Soviet posters

Soviet posters

Around 70 posters issued in the Soviet Union between 1919 and1930, relating to the Russian Civil War and economic and social issues.

The Duncan Street Explorer

The Duncan Street Explorer

Photos, audio recordings, floor plans and more help tell the story of the famous Bartholomew mapmakers of Edinburgh.

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.