What's in the collections

National Library of Scotland collections which are recommended for learning audiences.

Our maps website has over 20,000 zoomable maps of Scotland dating from the 1500 to the 1950s, including:

  • Military maps
  • Town plans
  • Ordnance Survey maps and more.

You can search maps by town or region in Scotland. Recommended for individual student research or to show and discuss in group classroom activities and they are useful for local studies projects.

Curriculum for Excellence areas: People, Place and Environment, Geography (Standard Grade, Higher, Advanced Higher).

The photographs of John Thomson
Thomson's images of China and South-East Asia brought the land, culture, and people of the Far East alive for the 'armchair travellers' of Victorian Britain.

Curriculum for Excellence areas: People, Place and Environment

Scotland and Russia — books and articles
This is a list of titles of books and articles, identified by curatorial staff, which are relevant to the study of Scotland and Russia. The list includes the accounts of some Scottish travellers in Russia. Some works listed contain much relevant information, even though they do not focus specifically on Scots or Scotland.

John Murray Archive
You can use the website to find out more about great Victorian explorers David Livingstone and Isabella Bird Bishop. Discover 'Handbooks for Travellers' - guide books for less adventurous Victorian tourists.


Geography and exploration main page

Library video guides

Man using laptop seated at table

Watch our video guides to find out how to access National Library of Scotland resources from home, school or in person.

David Livingstone

Portrait of David Livingstone

Examine items about David Livingstone's life and work and discuss what meaning they have today.

Library favourites

Paula Williams

Paula Williams introduces items from Captain Scott's last expedition collection. Watch video

NLS learning for you

If there's a topic you'd like more information about or if you have any suggestions for learning, email us.

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