Civil War display
American university press publications provide readers with current scholarship and research. This material compliments the Library's special collections, particularly those containing material relating to the United States of America, such as:
- The Liston Papers — official and personal documents of diplomat Robert Liston, British Minister to the United States between 1796 and 1801, and his wife Henrietta Liston
- Cochrane Papers — official and personal documents of Sir Alexander Cochrane, Commander-in-Chief of the North American Station during the War of 1812
- Hugh Sharp Collection — over 1,200 volumes, mostly first editions of the classics of English and American literature
- Henderson Memorial Library of Books on America
- Gael Turnbull Collection — the library and personal papers of poet Gael Turnbull
- Combe Collection — part of the library of George Combe, founder of the Edinburgh Phrenological Society
- Birkbeck Collection — works on printing, including many American items.
We purchase e-books from American publishers, covering subjects including arts, humanities and science. Our collections include the e-books:
- 'Elements of academic style: Writing for the humanities', by Eric Hayot (Columbia University Press, 2014)
- 'Literature and the creative economy', by Sarah Brouillette (Stanford University Press, 2014)
- 'Ain't got no home: America's great migrations and the making of an interracial left', by Erin Royston Battat (University of North Carolina Press, 2014).
From 1950 to 1994, the Library received some of the publishing output of the U.S. Government Printing Office by donation through an exchange scheme with the United States' Library of Congress. As well as this collection, governmental information relating to the United States can be found in our:
- Census material
- United Nations material
- Publications from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
- Collection of British and Irish parliamentary and other departmental official publications, many of which relate to the United States.
Read more about our United States Official Publications
The Library's catalogues and databases and eResources contain a wealth of material about the United States. Our eResources can be accessed by registered readers from within Scotland. Resources include:
American imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1800
A full-text digital archive of over 39,000 titles printed in America between 1639 and 1800.
Based on the renowned 'American bibliography' by Charles Evans, the archive includes virtually every work of early American publishing and covers books and broadsides, laws and maps, songs and speeches, and more.
A full-text digital archive containing works about the Americas published throughout the world.
The archive covers the period from 1500 to the early 1900s, and consists of over 6 million pages from 29,000 works, and based on Joseph Sabin's seminal bibliography 'Bibliotheca Americana: a dictionary of books relating to America from its discovery to the present time'.
- Cold War
A full-text collection of 2,360 formerly classified United States government documents — most of them classified Top Secret or higher — which provides readers with the declassified documentary record about the successes and failures of the United States intelligence community in its efforts to spy on the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
A full-text journal archive of over sixteen hundred leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.
and Canadian newspaper holdings in Scottish
Directory listing North American newspapers and news magazines held in Scottish libraries.
- Scots Abroad
Details of material relating to Scots in North America and emigrants' guides to North America. You can search these databases by keyword and browse by date. In some of them you can also browse by author or by title.
- Correspondence of Arthur C Murray, 3rd Viscount Elibank
— part of British
A full-text digital archive of the papers of Arthur C Murray (1879-1962), solider, Scottish Liberal MP, foreign secretary, military attaché and close friend to Franklin D Roosevelt. The highlight of the archive is the correspondence between Murray and Roosevelt leading up to and during the Second World War.
- Hessian documents of the American Revolution,
Microfilm records about the 30,000 German troops who fought on the British side in the Revolutionary War, translated into English from the original German. These can be consulted at the Library.
The Library subscribes to many periodicals published in the USA, with an emphasis on the humanities, particularly literature and history. Titles include, for example, 'Film quarterly', 'Criticism', 'Poetica' and 'Eighteenth century studies'. These can be consulted at the Library.
You can explore our collections in the main catalogue, or learn more about searching and browsing our collections.