Information Services

School of Scottish Studies Archives

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.

COVID-19 Closure 

Following government advice, face-to-face services at the School of Scottish Studies Archives & Library remains closed. Please note, all staff are working from home and do not have access to collections.

  • We are still monitoring our email enquiries ( and, where possible, will direct users to relevant online resources.
  • For up to date information about the University of Edinburgh's response to COVID-19 please see the webpages.
  • Information about the impact of COVID-19 on wider library services are available on a dedicated webpage.


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.

Visitor Information

Information about access to the School of Scottish Studies Archives & Library

Sound Archive

History and resources of the School of Scottish Studies Sound Archive.

Photographic Archive

The Photographic Archive came into being when the School of Scottish Studies was established in 1951.


Book son the shelf of the Scottish Studies Library
Information on Library materials held by the School of Scottish Studies Archives and how to access them.

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Information about the School of Scottish Studies Archive's manuscripts and Special Collection

Access to Digitised Collections

How to access digitised collections for private study or re-use.

Archive publications and online resources

Books and websites produced by, or in conjunction with, the School of Scottish Studies Archives.

Archive news & events

Updates and events from the School of Scottish Studies Archives.