Keith Bovey on the campaign trail, Garscadden 1978

Accession Number: spa.si.343

The Glasgow Garscadden by-election was held on 13 April 1978. Donald Dewar (Labour) held the seat with 16,507 votes to Keith Bovey’s (SNP) 11,955 votes.

This picture forms part of the Scots Independent donation to the Scottish Political Archive. The Scots Independent is a monthly Nationalist newspaper. The paper was founded in 1926 and is the longest surviving political newspaper in Scotland in the twentieth century.

Can you help us identify this picture?

Accession Number: spa.si.348

Image shows a gentleman pointing at the SNP slogan “Good for Scotland”. The gentleman in the photo is identified as Borthwick. Is it G J Borthwick or Ian Borthwick?

This picture forms part of the Scots Independent donation to the Scottish Political Archive. The Scots Independent is a monthly Nationalist newspaper. The paper was founded in 1926 and is the longest surviving political newspaper in Scotland in the twentieth century. For further information about the Scots Independent please visit their website at www.scotsindependent.org

SNP march through Stirling town centre

Accession Number: spa.si.45

This picture shows a SNP march through Stirling town centre on the way to the Bannockburn Rally. The picture is undated.

Front row right to left: Andrew Welsh, Winnie Ewing, Margaret Ewing, Gordon Wilson and Dafydd Elis Thomas. Behind them from the left are Alasdair Morgan, Jim Fairlie and then Fergus Ewing.

This picture forms part of the Scots Independent donation to the Scottish Political Archive. The Scots Independent is a monthly Nationalist newspaper. The paper was founded in 1926 and is the longest surviving political newspaper in Scotland in the twentieth century.

SNP leaders Billy Wolfe and Arthur Donaldson

Accession Number: spa.si.23

Billy Wolfe (SNP party chairman 1969 – 1979) and Arthur Donaldson (party chairman 1960 – 1969). To right Robert McIntyre (party chairman 1947 – 1956, MP for Motherwell and Wishaw 1945).

This picture forms part of the Scots Independent donation to the Scottish Political Archive. The Scots Independent is a monthly Nationalist newspaper. The paper was founded in 1926 and is the longest surviving political newspaper in Scotland in the twentieth century.

Leaflet from SPA Archive

Labour Party Election Leaflet, 1997

Accession Number: spa.gr.49.7.1 (front of spa.gr.49.7.2)

Labour Party election leaflet 1997 entitled Typical. Ask for Salmond, you get a pilchard. The reverse of leaflet reads “If you vote SNP- you get the Tories….. The SNP are John Major’s secret weapon. Every vote wasted on the SNP is good news for the Tories because it is a vote to keep them in power”.

Labour Party Pamphlet, 1976



spa.gr.46.2, originally uploaded by Scottish Political Archive.

This pamphlet is part of the George Robertson Collection within the Scottish Political Archive.

This ten page pamphlet was issued by the Labour Party in Scotland in 1976 and discusses the implications of full independence for Scotland.

SPA Image Archive available on Flickr

The archive is currently digitising our collections and making them available online through Flickr.  The toolbar to the right of this blog shows the most recent additions to the online collection.  However, we now have over 400 images available through this site.  

 The bulk of this material comes from the  photograph collection of  the Scots Independent newspaper.   The Scots Independent was established in 1926 and its photo collection contains about 1500 different images. Most of its photographs come from the 1960s onwards, the period when the SNP came to prominence for the first time, and include images up to the present day.  The collection features prominent Nationalists like Alex Salmond, Winnie Ewing, Margo MacDonald, Gordon Wilson and Wendy Wood, as well as Scottish cultural figures like Hugh MacDiarmid and Iain Crichton Smith. There are also nationalist commemorations at Bannockburn and Elderslie, campaigns such as that over Gartcosh Steel works in the early 1980s and the return of the Stone of Destiny to Scotland in 1996.

We are keen for  help in identifying some of the people and events in the photos and would welcome any additional information either through commenting on Flickr or by contacting us at scottishpoliticalarchive@stir.ac.uk

George Robertson lecture podcast

George Robertson delivered a lecture to MSc students on 11th October 2010.  This lecture forms part of the spa oral archive and is available through our podcasting site.  Please click on the link below to listen to George Robertson discussing his time at NATO

George Robertson was first elected as MP for Hamilton in the May 1978 by-election and held this seat until 1999.  During his time in Parliament he was appointed an Opposition Spokesman in 1979, first on Scottish Affairs, then on Defence, and on Foreign Affairs from 1982 to 1993. He became Chief Spokesman on Europe in 1983. He also served as the principal Opposition Spokesman on Scotland in the Shadow Cabinet from 1993-1997.  After Labour’s victory in the 1997 General Election, he was appointed as Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom, a position he held until October 1999. Between 1999 and 2004 he was appointed Secretary General of NATO.  He was also raised to the peerage as Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, of Islay in Argyll and Bute in 1999.  For biographical information about George Robertson http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/george-robertson/26923

The Scottish Political Archive

Welcome to the blog of the Scottish Political Archive (SPA). SPA was launched at the University of Stirling in October 2010. SPA aims to collect political material and archives from Scottish politicians and political organisations to chronicle the political history of Scotland in the twentieth century.