Scots Abroad: Stories of Scottish Emigration – Resources


The National Library of Scotland holds a wealth of manuscript and printed collections relating to Scottish emigration.

The manuscript collections mostly consist of personal correspondence, journals of voyages and photographs. They also contain correspondence and other documents more generally related to the subject of emigration.

Although the best represented countries are Canada, USA and Australasia, we also hold some significant material relating to Scots who emigrated to Argentina and Chile.

The printed collections consist of published accounts of Scots who went abroad:

  • Migrants' guides, especially to the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand
  • Posters
  • Pamphlets relating to emigration. There are also many individual histories of Scottish families who emigrated.

Scots Abroad databases – emigrants' letters and guides

The Scots Abroad databases provide access to brief descriptions of the collections of emigrants' correspondence, emigrants' guides and personal accounts. You can search these databases by keyword (including personal and place name) and browse by date.

See also:

Scottish emigration resources outside the NLS

Heritage organisations – Scotland and rest of UK

Heritage organisations – Overseas

Genealogy and family history resources – Scotland and UK

Genealogy and family history resources – overseas

Higher education institutions – Scotland and UK

Higher education institutions – overseas

Reference and education resources – Scotland and UK

Reference and education resources – overseas

Scottish societies and associations overseas

Publications of interest to Scots abroad

General websites about Scots abroad