Scottish History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

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The IHR Library's Scotland collections contain a range of published primary sources including oral history testimonies, travel diaries, private correspondence and official parliamentary acts and proceedings. The collection also holds a large selection of the records of Scottish government dating from the medieval period to the end of the seventeenth century alongside a collection of biographical reference works. In addition, the collections also comprise strong holdings in Scottish local history as well as a selected collection of journals and periodicals relating to the history of Scotland. The library's holdings encompass a broad swathe of historical topics ranging from the Picts right up to the present.

The Scotland collection is held at classmark BS, with the classmark BSL assigned to Scottish Local history. Oversized and folio items are located under the classmarks BSS and BSSL. The majority of the collection holdings are available on open access. However, the collection is housed within a meeting room (Professor Olga Crisp Room N102) so please note that access can not be guaranteed. If the room is booked, items can be ordered in advance through the library office. The library's holdings in Scottish local history and Scottish journals and periodicals are held within the onsite store. Information on how to request these items is available here


Highlights of the Collection

General Works and Guides to Materials

General Works from the Collections





Topographical and Toponymical Sources

Topographical works


Travel Writing






Official Papers/Legal Sources

Scottish Parliament Building




Selected Works from the Collection



Map of Scotland




Mary Queen of Scots Image




Newspapers, Journals and Periodicals

Journals and Periodicals



Current copies of most journals are on open access in the current periodical room on the ground floor, back issues can be ordered from the onsite store. Many are also available online within the building via the links on the catalogue entry. Selected relevant examples concerning the history of Scotland include:

Electronic Resources

A full list of electronic resources available within the Institute's library can be found here.

Related collections

Within IHR Library

Material relating to the history of Scotland can also be found across the collections of the IHR Library. The general British collections contain relevant materials on the parliamentary history of Great Britain as a whole. In addition, the Colonial Africa  and the North American collections contain many items relating to the emigration and exploration of Scots around the world. Similarly, the International Relations and Military History collections also contain significant holdings relating to Scotland.

Other Libraries, Archives, Organisations

The National Library of Scotland has a comprehensive collection covering all aspects of Scottish history. The National Records of Scotland also contains extensive archival records and documents relating to the history of the country. Scotland's People has genealogy holdings available online including census records, wills and birth and death certificates.

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