Saturday, January 28, 2012

Scots Abroad and at the National Library of Scotland

The Hector, Pictou, Nova Scotia
Scots Abroad: Stories of Scottish Emigration is an online exhibit from the National Library of Scotland (NLS). There are five components to the exhibit: Preparing to Go, Arriving and Settling In, Building Communities, Keeping Identity, and Resources.

The site includes brief narrative histories on the emigrant experience for each section and more detailed histories for six emigrants. You can read and listen letters to letters written by these individuals, one of whom is Flora McDonald. These exhibit sections would be useful for anyone wanting a brief overview of Scottish emigration and for students (or teachers) who need quick access to primary documents.

The list of resources is extensive and includes the NLS' own Scots Abroad databases. There are five separate databases in this collection: Scots in North America, Emigrants' Guides to North America, Scots in Australasia, Emigrants' Guides to Australia and New Zealand, Emigration from Scotland: Emigrants' Correspondence. These databases are essentially a card catalog and do not contain text from the documents. Manuscripts, obviously, can only be viewed at the NLS. However, books in their collection might be available online or at repositories elsewhere.

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