Research tools

We have online resources that you can access with a National Library of Scotland (NLS) login. If your main address is in Scotland you can use many of these from any computer.

To register for access, go to licensed digital collections.

There are also a number of resources there that you can use without having to register.

We recommend the following resources for:

  • Teachers researching a topic
  • Higher / Advanced Higher pupils carrying out independent research.

Credo Reference
Credo is an online reference tool with trusted content sourced from academic publishers including full-text entries from:

  • Encyclopaedias
  • Dictionaries,
  • Reference works and more.

It contains image databases and topic pages giving overviews of hundreds of subject areas.

The Economist Historical Archive
Site with searchable editions of every issue of 'The Economist' between 1843 and 2006. They recommend that students and teachers can also use the following for project work and research:

  • Supplements
  • Special reports
  • Surveys.

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
Site which provides full text access to House of Commons Parliamentary Papers from 1801 to 2000. Includes 'my archive' feature which enables you to save items you have found.

Public Information Online
Search for:

  • Full-text copies of House of Commons and House of Lords Papers from 2006 / 2007 onwards
  • Scottish Parliamentary Papers from 2008 onwards
  • Northern Ireland Assembly Papers from 2008 / 2009 onwards.

The site also has a 'bill tracker' feature to follow issues currently being discussed.

Times Digital Archive
Search the archive of 'The Times' for full-text articles from issues between 1785 and 1985.

Infotrac Custom Newspapers
Search for articles from newspapers across the world from 1980 to present day, including 33 Scottish titles.


Politics and society main page

Library video guides

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

Suffragettes in Scotland

Photo of two Edwardian women

This resource for secondary schools explores the women's suffrage movement in Scotland. Go to 'A guid cause'

Library favourites

Photo of Jan Usher

Is censorship ever justified on grounds of keeping society safe? Watch this video to find out.

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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