The School of Scottish Studies was established in 1951, at the University of Edinburgh, to collect, preserve, research and publish material relating to the cultural traditions and folklore of Scotland.
The extensive collections, the core of which is the ethnological fieldwork undertaken by staff and students over the past sixty years, include a sound archive comprising some 33,000 recordings, a photographic archive containing thousands of images from the 1930s onwards, a small film and video collection and a manuscript archive. The Scottish Studies library of ethnological publications, both Scottish and international, is used as a resource to contextualise the fieldwork material. Collecting has focused on Scottish life, folklore and the traditional arts. Material comes from communities throughout Scotland and its diaspora. The main languages of Scotland - Gaelic, Scots and English - are all represented including many dialects that are now extinct. Donations include related material from other countries, for example, the John Levy Collection, recordings of traditional music from Asia and beyond.