What's in the collections

National Library of Scotland collections recommended for learning audiences.

Maps
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, and military maps can be searched by battle. We recommend them for individual student research or to show and discuss in group classroom activities for making links between the past and present, local studies and military history.

Curriculum Areas: Curriculum for Excellence: People, past events and societies. History (Standard Grade, Higher, Advanced Higher)

John Murray Archive
The John Murray Archive is a unique collection of papers relating to important Victorians.  You can use the website to find out more about this important publishing house and about the book trade in the 19th century. Find out about authors published by Murray - Charles Darwin, David Livingstone, Sir Walter Scott, and many others.

Foreign Collections: USA
The Library holds a large amount of material relating to American History including 18th- and 19th-century books, manuscripts, more modern material and emigration to America. These pages introduce the collection and how to access it, and may be useful for teachers researching American History or students carrying out their independent research project.

Curriculum Areas. History (Standard Grade, Higher, Advanced Higher)

Scottish Labour History Collections
We hold the leading collection of archival research material relating to Scottish labour and trade union history, covering the early 19th to late 20th century. The collections pages provide an overview of the collection, which may be useful for teachers and students looking for primary evidence.

Curriculum Areas. Standard Grade History: Changing Life in Britain and Scotland 1880s- present day.

Newspapers Collections
We hold the largest collection of newspapers in Scotland, ranging from the earliest newspaper printed in Scotland to modern online titles. The collections home page gives an overview of the collections available to study. Recommended for teachers looking for contemporary evidence to use with pupils on topics across the history curriculum.

Curriculum Areas: Curriculum for Excellence: People, past events and societies, History (Standard Grade, Higher, Advanced Higher)

The India Papers
The Library holds a large collection relating to British Rule in India, the majority of the collection dates from between the post-Mutiny re-organisation of the Indian government and Indian independence in 1947. The collections pages provide an overview of the collection, which may be useful for teachers and students looking for primary evidence.

Curriculum Areas. Standard Grade History: People and Power - India 1917-1947, Higher History: Scottish History - Migration and Empire, 1830-1939.

 

History 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.

Emigration from Scotland

Home away from home

Find out about six Scots who started a new life abroad. Go to 'A home away from home'.

Scottish Enlightenment

Illustration of a group of men

Explore the Scottish Enlightenment – a remarkable period of change in Scotland's history. Go to 'Northern lights'.

Library favourites

Iain Brown

Find out about the 18th century version of the gap year, known as 'The Grand Tour'. 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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