Over 3,000 Scottish chapbooks are now on the Library’s Digital Gallery! You find them under the heading “Chapbooks printed in Scotland”. These chapbooks were printed in the 18th and 19th centuries across the country.
Many chapbook printers were active in the Central Belt and Aberdeen. But chapbooks were also printed in other towns, for instance in Inverness, Brechin, Fintray, Banff, Tain and Kilmarnock.
Seven chapbooks were published in Inveraray, and they are in written in Gaelic. They mostly contain songs.
Chapbooks formed the staple reading material of the common people. They deal with every topic under the sun. You can read about trials, transvestites, war; religion, free masons, crime; courtship, Jacobites, the Irish; street life, sports, slavery; prostitution, politics, pirates; emigration, diseases, Scottish life and many more things.
Chapbooks were also written for children, not just for adults. You can for instance read about Robinson Crusoe, Sindbad the Sailor or Sir Gawein:
Find out more about the Library’s most important collection of chapbooks, the Lauriston Castle Collection.