Statistical Accounts of Scotland, 1st and 2nd

With the support of SCURL (Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries) and funding from Jisc (Joint Information Systems Committee), the 1st and 2nd Statistical Accounts were digitised in 1998. The web service was launched by EDINA in 2001, at which time the Joint Board for the Statistical Accounts of Scotland - a consortium of Scottish universities, colleges, schools, archives and public libraries - was established by SCURL to manage its future development.

The Statistical Accounts are essential sources of study of Scottish life from the 18th and 19th centuries. The 1st and 2nd - or 'old' and 'new' - accounts are based largely on information supplied by each parish church minister in Scotland. They cover a wide range of subjects, inlcuding agriculture, education, trades, religion, social class and customs.

Data Creator: 
Joint Board for the Statistical Accounts of Scotland.
Time Period: 

Three statistical accounts have been undertaken in Scotland:

  • The first of these took place at the end of the 18th century under the direction of Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster, and was published in 21 volumes between 1791 and 1799. It is referred to as the 'Statistical Account of Scotland' and also as the 'Old' or 'First' statistical account.
  • The second of these - the New Statistical Account - was published between 1834 and 1845.
  • The "Third Statistical Account of Scotland' was undertaken and published between 1951 and 1992.


Data Publisher:

File Descriptions: 

The text of the original volumes of the Statistical Accounts is arranged in the order in which the parish and county reports were published. The Table of Contents and the General Index included have been compiled from those in the published volumes.

File Storage: 

Information for each parish may be viewed online or downloaded as PDF files.

Data Access: 

Directly available to Edinburgh University users via EASE. Edinburgh University users may contact the Data Library for access.