Zoom into Aberdeen City

Where to find local collections:

Aberdeen Local Studies, Central Library, Aberdeen




Aberdeen City Archives


  • Books – non fiction

Aberdeen Almanack in 1796 [[In Antiquarian books of Scotland] https://digital.nls.uk/117715966

Reminiscences of a police officer in the granite city by Alexander Clark in 1873 [In Antiquarian books of Scotland] https://digital.nls.uk/125334510

Works of George Dalgarno of Aberdeen, 1834 by Thomas Maitland [In Publications by Scottish clubs]  https://digital.nls.uk/82482356

Diary of Alexander Jaffray, provost of Aberdeen by Alexander Jaffray in 1883 [in Histories of Scottish Families] https://digital.nls.uk/94779219

  • Book – fiction

The lilt, and other verses, 1922 by Marion Angus [In Works by selected Scottish authors] https://digital.nls.uk/128693574

The Cheviot, the stag, and the black, black oil, 1973 by John McGarth [In 12 Key Scottish Plays. First performed in Aberdeen Arts Centre] https://digital.nls.uk/scottish-theatre/cheviot/index.html

  • Film

No Strings Attached filmed by Mr R G Giuliani Dec’d, 1959 [In Moving Image Archive. A film about the Puppet Theatre in Aberdeen] https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/4539

Fishmarket – Aberdeen filmed by James Clark circa 1950s [In Moving Image Archive] https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/2935

Auchterturra attributed to Group 5, 1982 [In Moving Image Archive. Comic performance by one the characters from ‘Scotland the What?’]  https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/4216

  • Manuscript collection

Brus by John Balfour, 1489 [In Early Scottish Manuscripts]  https://digital.nls.uk/75514441

Leaves and fragments used in the binding of a volume by William Elphinstone, 1510 [In Aberdeen Breviary] https://digital.nls.uk/75172958

  • Maps

Over 200 years of Aberdonian maps can be viewed here: https://maps.nls.uk/towns/aberdeen.html

Here are a few examples:

Abredoniae novae et veteris descriptio = A description of new and of old Aberdeens, with the places neerest adjacent by James Gordon, 1661 [In Map Images] https://maps.nls.uk/view/74400885

Aberdeen – Harbour by Thomas Telford, ca. 1828 [In Map Images] https://maps.nls.uk/view/218516639

City of Aberdeen street plan with easy index to streets, 1945 [In Map Images] https://maps.nls.uk/view/142842470

  • An eResource

Variation and Change in Aberdeen English: A Sociophonetic Study by Thorsten Brato, 2016 [In VLE Reader. This study explores the changes to the Aberdonian dialect] https://www-vlebooks-com.nls.idm.oclc.org/Vleweb/Product/Index/903196

  • A business

Economic impact of Aberdeen Harbour Nigg Bay Development by Scottish Enterprise, 2013 [Monograph found via LibrarySearch. Aberdeen Harbour is one of the oldest businesses in Britain; Aberdeen Harbour Board was established in 1136] https://www.nls.uk/e-monographs/2020/218516477.23.pdf

  • A person

Life and the astonishing adventures of Peter Williamson [In Chapbooks printed in Scotland. William was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery] https://digital.nls.uk/104185750

George Ramage’s diary, 1915by George Ramage [In War Experiences] https://digital.nls.uk/great-war/soldier/diary.html

  • A song or piece of music

New song, to the tune of Cauld kail in Aberdeen, 1818 [In Chapbook printed in Scotland]  https://digital.nls.uk/104184651

Cantus, songs and fancies, 1682 by John Forbes [In Special Collections of Printed Music] https://digital.nls.uk/87697848

  • A ghost/mythical creature           

The devil in Scotland. Being four great Scottish stories of diablerie [I.e. Tam o’ Shanter], 1934 compiled by Douglas Percy Bliss [This collection includes a story about a coven of Aberdonian witches. Found through LibrarySearch] http://deriv.nls.uk/dcn23/1275/8861/127588610.23.pdf

  • A castle or other historic building

King’s College of Old Aberdeen, 1828-1829 by John Spalding and edited by James Skene[In Publications by Scottish Clubs. This plate was published by the Bannatyne Club. The plate is believed to have been painted by Jamieson] https://digital.nls.uk/79762353

Cathedral of St. Machars, Old Aberdeen, 1828-1829 by John Spalding and edited by James Skene[In Publications by Scottish Clubs. This plate was published by the Bannatyne Club] https://digital.nls.uk/79756384

  • Food

Anonymous recipe book for households in Aberdeen and London, circa 1881-1886 [In Recipes from Scotland] https://digital.nls.uk/102697319

  • A photograph

Plate 15 and 16 – Aberdeen and Aderdeen Castlegate in Travels in Scotland 1788-1881 edited by Alastair J. Durie in 2012 [In Scottish History Society] https://digital.nls.uk/128328002

  • Further reading

Hidden Aberdeen: History on Your Doorstep and under Your Feet by Fiona-Jane Brown in 2013.

Quarry Wood by Nan Sheppard in 1928

The Granite Men: A History of the Granite Industries of Aberdeen and North East Scotland by Jim Feddes in 2019.