The Scottish Political Archive’s crowdfunder is still live to produce a graphic history of the Scottish Parliament, to be freely distributed to all secondary schools and public libraries in Scotland. Please visit the crowdfunding site to learn more about our plans.
We were recently given several vinyl records produced by the SNP in the mid 1970s. They included this record Freedom, Scotland, Freedom which was released by The Clansmen in 1975
It includes a letter of support by Winnie Ewing, the then MP for Moray and Nairn. Songs include Give the Oil Away, Scots Wha Hae and You’ll never get your Freedom, Lad. We don’t have a record player in the archive so we are yet to listen to it!
Quite often we get historical additions to the archive which have contemporary relevance and today is no exception. We were gifted a bundle of leaflets relating to the 1975 Referendum on the European Community (Common Market).
The leaflets and pamphlets include material from Britain in Europe and the National Referendum campaign alongside official information literature produced by HMSO.
The UK European Communities membership referendum, also known as the Referendum on the European Community (Common Market), the Common Market referendum and EEC membership referendum, took place under the provisions of the Referendum Act 1975 on 5 June 1975 in the United Kingdom to gauge support for the country’s continued membership of the European Communities (EC) — often known at the time as the European Community and the Common Market — which it had entered on 1st January 1973 under the Conservative government of Edward Heath. Labour’s manifesto for the October 1974 general election had promised that the people would decide through the ballot box whether to remain in the EC. This was the first national referendum ever to be held throughout the entire UK.
The result was that 67% voted Yes to remain in the EC, with a national turnout of 64%.
Campaign literature has changed over the years. Here is a leaflet from the Stirling branch SNP targeting housewives in Stirling in 1950 / 1951.
The archive has just been donated a few boxes of election materials. Amongst party political material we have found leaflets relating to Democracy for Scotland and the Scotland Demands Democracy march and summit.
The march for Scottish democracy was attended by approximately 30,000 people on 12 December, 1992 to coincide with the European Summit held in Edinburgh.
Organisations, including the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), Scottish Churches, the Campaign for a Scottish Parliament, Scotland United, the National Union of Students, Common Cause and Democracy for Scotland, came together to organise the march and rally.
The march was chaired by the STUC and attended by cross-party politicians and activists including Acting Shadow Scottish Secretary Henry McLeish, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace, the Scottish National Party’s Alex Salmond, Isobel Lindsay from the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly, and writer William McIlvanney.
We often get new items into the archive which are intriguing and this new £1 note is no exception. We are hoping that someone will be able to help us and tell us more about who was responsible for stamping notes like these and how many may have been in circulation.
The note itself was issued on 24th July 1991 and has been stamped with the words ‘Home Rule for Scotland’. If you remember these notes in the early 1990s and can tell us any information we would be delighted to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are once again collecting election leaflets. If you receive any European Election leaflets through your door they will be gratefully received by the Scottish Political Archive.
Please send to
Scottish Political Archive
History and Politics
University Of Stirling
We often receive new additions to the archive in the post. This leaflet arrived recently – it derives from around 1968 / 69 and discusses Scotland’s possible entry into the Common Market
William McIlvanney at the Bus Party, 1997 tour
Accession Number: SPA.BP.1918.104.22.168.1
In 1997, William McIlvanney led a group of fellow artists on a bus tour round Scotland in the run up to the referendum on the Scottish Parliament. They were listening to local people’s views on the kind of Scotland they wanted to live in after the referendum, whether they were voting Yes or No.
In May 2014 the Bus Party Listening Lugs tour went from Stromness to Stirling visiting 16 venues asking “What kind of Scotland do we want?” Artists included James Robertson, Karine Polwart, Billy Kay, Hamish Moore, Neal Ascherson and David Francis among others.
The Bus Party collection relating to 1997 and 2014 is now held within the SPA archive.
We are delighted that this week SPA is hosting the ‘Flying Archivist’ Sophie Bossaert. Sophie is from NISE, the Centre of expertise in National Movements and Intermediary Structures in Europe (NISE) and the Archives & Research Centre of the Flemish Movement (ADVN). In cooperation with EFA (European Free Alliance) they organise the project “Flying Archivist” which sends an archivist to help work in a political archive. This week Sophie is working with SPA as part of this project undertaking cataloguing and digitization of our Scots Independent Collection.