Obtaining documents in the Bibliography

Physical copies

Physical copies of many of the documents featured in the Bibliography may be found in the National Library of Scotland (NLS), Edinburgh City Libraries (especially in the Edinburgh and Scottish Collection on George IV Bridge) and in book and charity shops. Items not held by the City Libraries may be obtainable on inter-library loan.

Digital copies

Members of the National Library can gain access to a range of digital publications including some journals.

Residents who are members of Edinburgh City Libraries can also take advantage of the ‘A-Z e-resources’ section of the Council’s website

Online copies of many of the documents may be found by using search engines such as Google or Bing.

Searches using Google Books will identify books that you can read, download or preview. If you find a book you want to read, you may be able to read it on Google Books, buy it online, or borrow it from a library. Some books are provided by publishers, while others are scanned as part of the Google’s Library Project.

Google Books includes much older and out of copyright literature, and these items feature high on searches using the main Google search engine. The Electric Scotland site has uploaded many old books of Scottish History and transcribed some that have not yet been digitised.

You can miss items accessible via the Internet Archive (Archive.org) which often appear further down search lists if at all. Tip: try an Archive.org at the outset. You may well be surprised by what you can track down! Archive.org holds much of the NLS collection of digitised books and more besides, including local and family histories.

Hathi Trust is an alternative, maintained by a collaborative of libraries mainly in the USA. It hosts some content not found elsewhere, though there are more restrictions on what you can search and download if you are not attached to an affiliated organisation.

Google Scholar can serve as a useful follow-up to your use of the Bibliography by providing a means of searching for further academic literature. It indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of formats and disciplines and includes most online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, technical reports, etc.