Scottish Bibliographies Online

Scottish Bibliographies Online is a database about Scots, Scotland, and Scottish writing.

SBO contains references to Scottish content found in books, periodicals, and other media and is a unique resource, freely available to all. It can be a starting point for anyone looking for information on Scottish books and Scottish writers.


What SBO covers

The resource includes the national bibliography for Scotland, aims to be as up-to-date and comprehensive as possible, and lists publications that are:

  • About Scotland
  • About Scottish people
  • Written by a Scottish novelist, poet, dramatist or thinker
  • Published since 1988.

SBO coverage includes:

  • Novels, plays, and poetry by Scottish authors
  • Novels, plays, and poetry about Scotland
  • Non-fiction books and articles on most Scottish subjects
  • Books for children
  • Artists' books
  • Catalogues for Scottish exhibitions
  • Scottish Government and other official publications.

There are around 135,000 entries for:

  • Books, journals, and magazines
  • Chapters from books
  • Articles from journals
  • Non-print media
  • Material in English, Gaelic, Scots, and other languages of Scotland.

We update SBO continuously and every month we add approximately:

  • 400 new books
  • 70 journal articles
  • 70 chapters.


The three elements of SBO

Searching SBO automatically looks at three overlapping databases:

  • Bibliography of Scotland (BOS)
  • Bibliography of Scottish Gaelic (BOSG)
  • Bibliography of the Scottish Book Trade (BSBT)

You can chose to search them all via SBO or to search them individually.

If you want to search only BOSG and BSBT databases read about searching separate locations within SBO.


Bibliography of Scotland (BOS

The Bibliography of Scotland is the major part of the SBO database and lists all the items included in BOSG and BSBT with the exception of material published before 1988.

BOS was published in printed form for the years 1976 to 1987.


Bibliography of Scottish Gaelic (BOSG)

The Bibliography of Scottish Gaelic is designed to help researchers with a specialist interest in Scottish Gaelic publications.

Searching BOSG only will find:

  • New publications in Gaelic
  • New Gaelic journal articles
  • Older Gaelic books in the National Library of Scotland.


Bibliography of the Scottish Book Trade (BSBT)

The Bibliography of the Scottish Book Trade is designed to help researchers with a specialist interest in various aspects of the Scottish book trade.

BSBT records books and periodical articles, about publishing, printing, bookselling, libraries, and related subjects

Searching BSBT only will find:

  • New books about the Scottish book trade
  • New journal articles about the Scottish book trade
  • Older books about the Scottish book trade.


Getting started

There are two ways to use SBO:

  • Search Scottish Bibliographies Online only
  • Use the search box on this page (top right):
    • Enter 'Scottish Bibliographies Online' as the search term
    • On the results page choose 'Scottish Bibliographies Online' from the 'Select collection' dropdown list.


Find out more

If you want to know more about SBO, please email Andrew Martin.

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