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Items marked * are extremely useful.

Dictionaries and glossaries

*Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL)
This Incorporates the twelve-volume Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and ten-volume Scottish National Dictionary (SND)

Oxford English Dictionary

I.H Adams, Agrarian Landscape Terms: A Glossary for Historical Geography, Institute of British Geographers Special Publication Number 9, (Edinburgh: 1976)

Rosemary Milward, A Glossary of household, farming and trade terms from probate inventories (Derbyshire Record Society Occasional Paper)

John Richardson, The Local Historian's Encyclopaedia (Herts: Historical Publications Ltd., 1986)

General sources for local history

I.H. Adams, 'Sources for Scottish Local History 5: Estate Plans' Local Historian 12 (1976-7)

Burkes Peerage

David Dymond, Writing local history: a practical guide (Phillimore and Co. Ltd., 1988), new edn.

Peter Edwards, Farming: Sources for local historians (London: Batsford, 1991)

Peter Edwards, Rural Life: Guide to Local Records (Batsford, 1993)

F.G. Emmison, Archives and Local History (Chichester: Phillimore, 1974), 2nd edn.

Stephen Friar, The Batsford Companion to Local History (1991, Batsford)

David Hey, The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History (Oxford University Press, 1996)

*Report on the Present State of the Agriculture of Scotland arranged under the auspices of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (Edinburgh: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1790s-1810s)
An important companion to the Statistical Accounts of Scotland.

Historic Scotland, Guide for Practitioners 1: Rural Buildings of the Lothians: Conservation and Conversion (Edinburgh, 2000)
An excellent and well-illustrated source for learning about Scottish Lowland farm buildings, with separate sections on the history and development of farm buildings, the different buildings that make up the standard steading complex, information on building and roofing materials.

W.G. Hoskins, Fieldwork in Local History (London: Faber and Faber, 1982) 2nd edn.

Ingval Maxwell, Building Materials of the Scottish Farmstead, Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group, Regional and Thematic studies no. 3 (Edinburgh: 1996).
An overview of the principal walling and roofing materials used in Scottish farm buildings, with a useful glossary of architectural terms and a short bibliography.

Geographical Collections relating to Scotland made by Walter Macfarlane, 3 volumes, edited by Sir Arthur Mitchell (Edinburgh: Scottish History Society, 1907)

*David Moody, Scottish Local History: an introductory guide (London: B.T. Batsford, 1986) 

Philip Riden, Local History: a handbook for beginners (London: Batsford Academic and Educational Ltd., 1983)

Philip Riden, Record Sources for Local History (London: B.T. Batsford, 1987)

*Scottish Record Office, Tracing Scottish Local History: a guide to local history research in the Scottish Record Office (Edinburgh: Mercat Press, 1994)

*Statistical Accounts of Scotland:

*First, or'Old', Statistical Account of Scotland (1791-1799)

*The Second, or'New', Statistical Account of Scotland (1834-1845)

Third Statistical Account of Scotland (1951-1992)

Materials and Traditions in Scottish Building: Essays in memory of Sonia Hackett, edited by Anne Riches and Geoffrey Stell, Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group, Regional and Thematic studies no. 2) (Edinburgh: 1992).
Includes a very useful chapter by Anne Riches on 'Sources for the Study of Farm Buildings' and a useful glossary of architectural terms.

Census records

E. Higgs, Making Sense of the Census (HMSO/Public Record Office, 1989)

E. Higgs, A Clearer Sense of the Census (HMSO/Public Record Office Handbooks)

Church records

Joseph H. Bettey, Church and Parish: an introduction for local historians (London: B.T. Batsford, 1987)

Maps and plans

An Agricultural Parish Map of Scotland can be downloaded from the Scottish Government website

J.B. Harley, Maps for the Local Historian: a guide to the British sources (London: National Council of Social Service for the Standing Conference for Local History, 1972)

J.B. Harley, Ordnance Survey maps: a descriptive manual (1975)

Paul Hindle, Maps for Local History (London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1988) 

*The Early Maps of Scotland to 1850, ed. D G Moir, 2 volumes (Edinburgh: Royal Scottish Geographical Society, 1973, 1983)

Parish Maps of Scotland - these can be purchased from the Institute for Heraldic and Genealogical Studies

David Smith, Maps and Plans for the Local Historian and Collector: a guide to types of maps of the British Isles produced before 1914 valuable to local and other historians and mostly available to collectors (London: B.T. Batsford, 1988)

Palaeography and language guides

Grant G. Simpson's Scottish Handwriting 1150-1650 (Edinburgh, 1973)

Alf Ison, A Secretary Hand ABC (Berkshire Family History Society: 3rd ed 2000)

Scottish Record Association Scottish Handwriting 1500-1700, A Self Help Pack (Edinburgh, 1994)

Scottish Handwriting.com (an online tutorial focusing on Scottish handwriting in the period 1500-1750)

Denis Stuart, Latin for Local and Family Historians (1995, Phillimore)


History Scotland
Scottish Local History (published by the Scottish Local History Forum)
The Local Historian (published by the British Association for Local History)
Local History Magazine (published by Local History Online)


George Oliver, Photographs and Local History (London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1989)

Place-names/ place-name studies

David Dorwood, Scotland's Place-names. Their Study and Significance (Edinburgh: The Mercat Press, 1995)

W.F.H. Nicolaisen, Scottish Place-Names (London: Batsford, 1986)

Ordnance Survey guide to Gaelic place names:
Ordnance Survey guide to Scandinavian place-names
Ordnance Survey guide to Scots place-names

William J. Watson, The History of the Celtic Place-names of Scotland (1926) (reprinted by Birlinn, Edinburgh 1993)

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