Historical and present-day Scots and Scottish English resources
The Aitken Papers Few people could be said to have advanced our knowledge of the Scots Language, past and present, as did A. J. Aitken (1921-1998). Re-edited with introductions by Dr. Caroline Macafee, the majority of Aitken’s writings on Scots have now been made available online. Texts include academic papers on phonology, dialectology and lexis, pieces on Scots literature, biographical and autobiographical essays, overviews on the history of the language, letters to the Scotsman newspaper, and a number of other texts of both popular and technical interest.
The Forum for Research on the Languages of Scotland and UlsterFRLSU offers a free, web-based, rigorously peer-reviewed publication series on any languages which are or have been spoken in Scotland (including the Northern Isles) and the Irish province of Ulster. The focus is mostly linguistic and sociolinguistic, usually in connection with FRLSU colloquia and conferences.
The Bottle ImpThe Bottle Imp, published online by the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, is a journal promoting and supporting the teaching and study of Scottish literature and language.
A Selected Classified Bibliography of the Scots LanguageThis website, maintained by Marina Dossena between 2003 and 2010, contains bibliographical information on Scots-related publications, mainly linguistic, following the tradition of periodic reviews initiated by A. J. Aitken and continued by Caroline Macafee, J.D. McClure and W.F.H. Nicolaisen.
The Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) maintains an online catalogue of historical records in more than 50 Scottish archives. Most records are in English but some are in other languages, including Scots.
Scottish Bibliographies Onlineis maintained by the National Library of Scotland and lists publications since 1988 that are about Scotland or Scottish people or were written by a Scottish novelist, poet, dramatist or thinker.
The Scottish Text Society is a major publisher of important texts from Scotland’s literary history. It has published over 150 volumes, covering poetry, drama, and prose, from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
The Highland Archive Service looks after the archive collections in the care of The Highland Council. The archives date from the 14C and include records of schools, poor relief, churches, businesses, and family and estate papers.
Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century is a major research project at the Centre for Robert Burns Studies which will produce a multi-volume edition of Robert Burns’s work. Begun in 2009, the 250th anniversary of the poet’s birth, the project will take at least 15 years to complete.
Wee Windaes: A Continuum of the Scots Leid is a collection of cronologically arranged materials in Scots put together by the National Library of Scotland for the general public. Providing introductions and background information on authors, texts and periods, the site is intended to support Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence.
Church of Scotland: Kirk sessions and court documents is a scanned collection of over a million pages of church records included in Scotland’s People, a division of the National Records of Scotland. These are official documents reflecting key events in church communities across Scotland spanning 1559-1900. They are a key source for Scottish history and language of the period.
Dictionary of the Scots LanguageWith over 77,000 separate entries, over 250,000 spelling variants and over 750,000 illustrative quotations, the DSL is a treasure trove of information about the Scots language. It brings together two major historical dictionaries: A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST; pre-1700) and The Scottish National Dictionary (SND; post-1700).
Complete Ulster-Scots Dictionary Although still under development, this resource seeks to be a “A full historical record of the written and spoken [Ulster Scots] language”, compiled from — and directly linked to — the texts in the collections of the Ulster-Scots Language Society and the Ulster-Scots Academy.
Ordnance Survey name books provide information about place names and building names on the first edition OS mapping which took place in the mid-19th century. The name books used in Scotland are freely available.
500 Years of Printing in Scotland (1508-2008)This website, celebrating the 500th anniversary of establishing the Chepman and Myllar press in Edinburgh, brings together information about the history of printing in Scotland, one of Scotland’s most significant industries and a source of information on contemporary language and culture.
Scots Language CentreThis is a comprehensive website on all aspects of the Scots language, including its diversity, history, cultural and social presence, education, the current events and much more. It contains texts, audio and video recordings as well as a wealth of weblinks to other Scots-related resources. It includes a set of lists compiled by Iseabail Macleod and maintained until c.2006 of particular relevance to the linguistic study of Scots, including Iseabail’s list of Scots language reference resources.
Aye Can… Speak ScotsThis website was launched in preparation for the 2011 Census to promote the awareness of what the label “Scots” represents and to help people identify whether they can understand, speak, read and/or write Scots.
ScottishHandwriting.com The website offers online tuition in palaeography for historians, genealogists and other researchers struggling to read manuscript historical records written in Scotland in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.