National Library of Scotland

The Library has built up important collections in this increasingly popular area of study. We hold archival records relating to a variety of sporting activity in Scotland including bowling, curling, field sports, football, horse racing, skating, yachting and cricket, with particularly strong archival records for the histories of golf and mountaineering.

We have important holdings of the earliest surviving records of golf, together with the archives of leading Golf Clubs. Mountaineering is also well served with the archive of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, the papers of notable mountaineers and climbers like Thomas Graham Brown and Fanny Bullock Workman, and of writer-mountaineers like Hamish Brown and Andrew Greig.

Although most of the records of sporting organisations are for clubs in east-central Scotland, private papers give world wide coverage of the sporting activities of Scots from the 15th to the 20th centuries.

The Library also has the largest public collection of printed items about sport in Scotland and one of the largest printed collections on Scottish sport in the world. We try to collect material published on Scottish sports as comprehensively as is possible and cover all levels of sport from grassroots local clubs to international level.

The Library comprehensively collects sports books and periodicals published in the UK and Ireland through Legal Deposit. Our collections also grow through donations and purchase, and include programmes, biographies, club histories, fanzines, annuals and yearbooks. In addition, we collect every national and regional newspaper published in Scotland, along with a number of specialist sports newspapers.

Our Moving Image Archive also holds many films relating to a wide variety of sport throughout Scotland, some of which can be viewed online. These films date from the early 20th century onwards. Many sporting activities are featured, including items on football, rugby, fishing, golf, school sports days and Highland games.

This collection entry was last updated on 09/06/2021. Information incorrect or out-of-date?