Leith Local History Society


We hope these links may be helpful if you would like to find out more.

Sources for Leith History

Electric Scotland

‘The Story of Leith’ by John Russell. This book was published in 1920 and is long since out of print. The text can be read on www.electricscotland.com. (Click on History, then Books and Articles about Scotland and finally on The Story of Leith)

‘Old and New Edinburgh’ by James Grant

A digitised and searchable version of this book which was published in the 1880s is available on www.oldandnewedinburgh.co.uk. Go to Volumes V and VI for material of Leith. This work contains many illustrations.

Staistical Accounts

The Old and New Statistical Accounts for Leith (produced respectively in the last decade of the 18th century and the third/fourth decades of the 19th century) can be accessed online at http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot (a subscription is required for full access). On each occasion a joint account was produced for the Parishes of North and South Leith.

Maps and Images of Leith

NLS Maps

For maps and town plans of Leith go to www.nls.uk/maps (National Library of Scotland). The large scale Town Plans produced in the 1850s, 1870s and 1890s are particularly useful — click on ‘OS Town Plans’.


For images of Leith (and elsewhere in Scotland) try www.scran.ac.uk.


Another source for images and photographs is on www.edinphoto.org.uk


Naional Archives of Scotland

The website at www.nas.gov.uk gives you access to the online catalogue of the National Archives of Scotland where you can search for Leith material. (You would need to visit the National Archives to see the items that interest you.)

Scottish Archive Network

The website of the Scottish Archive Network, www.scan.org.uk, gives you access to an online catalogue of archive material held at various sites in Scotland. It also contains a tutorial on reading Scottish handwriting of the period 1500 – 1750.

The Scotsman

You can search every issue of the Scotsman for the period 1817 – 1950 on the website www.archive.scotsman.com.

Local Organisations

The Old Edinburgh Club

The Old Edinburgh Club is a local history society concerned with all aspects of the city’s history and development — see their website at www.oldedinburghclub.org.uk.

Lothians Family History Society

Lothians Family History Society is concerned with family history and genealogy in the Lothians area (including Leith). Their website is at www.lothiansfhs.org.uk.

Leith Golf Rules Society

The aim of the Society is to increase the recognition of Leith Links as the home of the earliest recorded rules of golf and one of the game’s prominent early locations. Their website is www.leith-rules-golf.co.uk/history.htm.

Family History

Scottish Genealogy Society

The Scottish Genealogy Society holds microfiche and microfilm of all the Old Parish Records as well as many census films. They have numerous books and CDs of census returns, memorial inscriptions etc and also have an extensive reference library. Their website is www.scotsgenealogy.com or they can be visited at 15 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2JL.

Other resources

A resource on the bagpipe history.