Scottish Independence Referendum 2014 Collection

Graphic with 'yes' and 'no' written repeatedly

The Scottish Independence Referendum 2014 Collection at the National Library of Scotland is a unique and valuable resource that is growing larger each week.

Being built up over the next few years, it is intended to be unbiased, representative and inclusive of the varied and often complex angles surrounding the Scottish independence debate.

The referendum collection includes books, reports, serials, and ephemeral material such as flyers, leaflets, etc., as well as websites, moving image, sound and archival material.

Much of what we want to add to this collection is being deposited with us now, in the wake of the referendum held in Scotland on 18 September 2014. We continue to collect, and will soon be able to offer you access to more material:

  • Publications in print and digital format
  • Moving images
  • Sound
  • Websites and social media streams
  • Archives.

Guidance on searching Library resources

There are five Library resources you can use online to search for material related to the Scottish Independence Referendum 2014:

  • Main catalogue
  • Search service
  • Legal deposit Web Archive
  • Moving Image Archive
  • Guide to Manuscript Collections, which has inventories of recent manuscript accessions.

Searching in the main catalogue

In our main catalogue you will find records for printed material we have that relate to the referendum.

At the moment the information covers books, reports, serials, and ephemeral material such as flyers, leaflets, etc.

Search tips

There are a variety of ways to find referendum-related material in the main catalogue. Most of what is searchable is published — as opposed to archives and manuscripts that are unpublished — and may be in print or digital format. Some items have been given a specific catalogue reference to make them easier to find.

In the main catalogue you will find general information on how to search the catalogue. These are located below the 'simple', 'advanced' and 'author' tabs.

In the simple search, try selecting 'title' from the drop down box (it may be there already). Then type 'Scottish Independence Referendum 2014 Collection' in the search box. This should give you a growing number of hits for material in different formats.

You can also search for 'Scottish Independence Referendum' material using subject searches and combinations of keywords.

For example, if you go to the advanced search page and choose 'subject' from the drop down box, then type in one of these phrases, you should find more material that may be of interest:

Home rule-Scotland
Decentralisation in government-Great Britain

Other kinds of material — archives, moving image and sound, for example — will be made available when it is possible to do so.

Search via the Library website

Use the Library website's search box to look for referendum material.

Make sure you use the 'search catalogues and resources' box option (which is the default search on the website) and add 'Scottish Independence Referendum' to the search box.

This will give you a very large number of hits which you can refine using the filters on the results page.

This search service covers most of the Library's resources, including the eResources (formerly called licensed digital collections) and Moving Image Archive material.

Archived websites

View websites collected during and after the referendum via the Library's collection in the UK Web Archive.

This publically available resource contains a number of creative responses to the referendum debate, national campaigning groups, sites of MSPs, Members of Parliament and local authorities.

A larger collection of archived referendum websites is available on Library premises. For more information, see our page about the Legal deposit UK Web Archive access tool.

Manuscript material

We add PDF inventories of archival material to the 'Guide to Manuscript Collections' as they become available.

The find archived referendum material add the phrase 'Scottish Independence Referendum' in the 'Search guide titles' box on the manuscript collections guide page.

At the moment there are only a few inventories, but the number will grow over the next year as more archival material enters the collection.

Moving images

As we receive moving image material about the referendum we will add it to the Moving Image Archive catalogue. Use the catalogue's search box to find this material or visit the 'referendum biography' page.

Links to other organisations collecting referendum related material

As well as the National Library of Scotland, other Scottish organisations are collecting referendum material. At the Library we collect mainly printed and archive materials. Other organisations are likely to have different, if overlapping, collecting interests:

We would be very happy to hear from any other organisations that are collecting referendum material of any kind: please contact Amy Todman (

The collecting project at the National Library

The Scottish Independence Referendum 2014 Collection is being developed through a two-year project at at the National Library of Scotland.

Running from 2014-2016, the project aims are to collect, catalogue and make accessible as much of the referendum material as possible.

For an overview of what we are trying to achieve with this project, see our statement of collecting priorities (PDF) (50 KB: 4 pages).

Archive for a momentous occasion

It has been widely acknowledged that the 2014 referendum was a major event in Scottish political and cultural life.

As Scotland's legal deposit library, we play a key role in collecting, preserving and providing access to the physical and digital publications relating to such significant events.

The project will build on the Library's world-class collections of earlier Scottish independence and home rule campaigns, to create a dedicated archive for this momentous occasion in Scottish history.

Contact us

For further information about the independence referendum collection and the collecting project at the Library, please contact the Referendum Curator, Amy Todman:

Tel: 0131 623 3885

Help us collect the referendum

Leaflet about collecting referendum material
Appeal flyer PDF
(87 KB; 2 pages).

Over the next few years we will be concentrating on collecting many different kinds of material from different sources. In essence we want to collect everything —

  • From the largest dossier to the smallest stamp
  • From official publications to jocular musings, both political and non-partisan.

We are looking for local items related to September's Scottish Independence Referendum, such as:

  • Leaflets, posters, newsletters or flyers — and nothing is too small to be of interest
  • Printed or digital material
  • Information about local campaign groups — including blogs, websites, or Facebook pages — will be especially useful.

We can only collect what we can find out about so your information now could make a real difference to our collections. After the independence referendum much of this material could be thrown out or deleted, making it too late to save.

Your help will be greatly appreciated!

Download our appeal flyer PDF (87 KB; 2 pages) — and feel free to send it to your Scottish contacts so that they can contribute too. We want the collection to represent the widest geographical spread of Scotland that we can.


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