Revision of The Scottish Parliament Project from Thu, 22/01/2009 - 11:31

Project start date: 1997-00 Project end date: 2008-05
The Scottish Parliament Project, based at the University of St Andrews, was set up in 1997 with funding from the Scottish Office, and has since received its funding from the Scottish Executive and a number of academic funding bodies. Its main task has been to create a new online edition of the acts of the pre-1707 Scottish Parliament (c.16,000,000 words), the Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 (RPS), with a parallel translation of the original Latin, French, Gaelic and Scots into standard searchable English. The final product of this research is a complete record of the Scottish parliament from its origins to its ending in 1707. The inclusion of new parliaments, additional legislation and committee records and minutes makes the final project the most comprehensive and accurate record of Scottish parliamentary proceedings ever available. It is also among the most accessible and technologically advanced record of any European medieval or early modern representative institution.
Content types created: 
Software tools used: 
  • Folio Views
  • Javascript
  • Perl
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Sleepycat DbXml
  • SQLite
  • XSLT
Source material used:  
The digital resource contains the complete manuscript records of the Scottish parliament before 1707, which are held in a variety of both public and private archives. The main bulk of the records are held at the National Archives of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland.
Digital resource created:  
In the nineteenth century an extremely comprehensive edition of the records of the Scottish Parliament was published at the order of the Westminster government, under the title of The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland (APS). The online edition produced by the project include almost everything in this edition, as well as a large number of records that have come to light since the publication of APS, such as committee minutes and other material. In addition, a modern scholarly apparatus of headings and footnotes has been added, along with the hierarchy of headings needed for navigation of a digital resource. It was decided at an early stage that the only means to an accurate and, in effect limitless, search facility was to create a parallel translation of the entire text. The purpose of the translation is primarily for the purposes of searching, but also has the benefit of making the text, which is written in Latin, Middle Scots and Norman and early modern French, infinitely more accessible to modern readers.
K. M. Brown and R. J. Tanner, The History of the Scottish Parliament volume 1: Parliament and Politics in Scotland 1235-1560 (Edinburgh, 2004)

K. M. Brown and A. J. Mann, The History of the Scottish Parliament volume 2: Parliament and Politics in Scotland 1567-1707 (Edinburgh, 2005)

Alan R. MacDonald, ‘Ecclesiastical Representation in Parliament in Post-Reformation Scotland: The Two Kingdoms Theory in Practice’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 50, No. 1 (1999)

A. R. MacDonald, ‘“Tedious to rehers?” Parliament and locality in Scotland c.1500-1651: the burghs of North East Fife’ in Parliaments, Estates and Representation, 20 (2000)

Alan R. MacDonald, ‘Deliberative processes in parliament c.1567-1639: multicameralism and the lords of the articles’, Scottish Historical Review, LXXXI (2002)

G. H. MacIntosh, "Arise King John: Commissioner Lauderdale and Parliament in the Restoration Era" in History of the Scottish Parliament volume 2: Parliament and Politics in Scotland, 1567-1707, eds. K. M. Brown and A. J. Mann (Edinburgh, 2005)

G. H. MacIntosh, The Scottish Parliament Under Charles II 1660-85 (Edinburgh, 2007)

A. J. Mann, ‘Parliaments, Princes and Presses: voices of tradition and protest in early modern Scotland’ in Sites of Discourse: Public and Private Spheres-Legal Culture (Amsterdam, 2002)

A. J. Mann, ‘Inglorious revolution: administrative muddle and constitutional change in the Scottish Parliament of William and Mary’, Parliamentary History, xxii(ii) (2003)

A. J. Mann, ‘The Scottish Parliaments: the role of ritual and procession in the pre-1707 parliament and echoes in the new parliament of 1999’ in E. Crewe and M. G. Müller (eds), Rituals in Parliaments: Political, Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on Europe and the United States (Frankfurt, 2006)

A. J. Mann, P. E. Ritchie and R. J. Tanner, ‘From Manuscript to Megabyte: Research Sources and Methods of the Scottish Parliament Project’ in Proceedings of the 53rd Conference of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (Barcelona, 2005)

Pamela E. Ritchie, Mary of Guise in Scotland, 1548-1560: A Political Career, (East Linton, 2002)

R. J. Tanner, ‘The Lords of the Articles before 1540: a reassessment’ in The Scottish Historical Review, 79 (October 2000)

R. J. Tanner, 'Outside the Acts: Perceptions of the Scottish Parliament in literary sources before 1500' in Scottish Archive (October, 2000)

R. J. Tanner, ‘“I Arest You, Sir, in the Name of the Three Astattes in Perlement”: the Scottish Parliament and Resistance to the Crown in the Fifteenth Century’ in Social Attitudes and Political Structures in the Fifteenth Century, ed. T. Thornton (Sutton, 2000)

R. J. Tanner, 'The Lords of the Articles before 1540: a reassessment', Scottish Historical Review, LXXIX (October 2000)

R. J. Tanner, 'Outside the Acts: Perceptions of the Scottish Parliament in Literary Sources before 1500', Scottish Archive (October 2000)

R. J. Tanner, The Late Medieval Scottish Parliament: Politics and the Three Estates, 1424-1488 (East Linton, 2001)

R. J. Tanner (with Michael Penman), 'An Unpublished Act of David II, 1359', Scottish Historical Review (October 2004)

Project staff and expertise: 

Principal staff member:Professor Keith Brown; Dr Gillian MacIntosh; Dr Alastair Mann; Dr Pamela Ritchie; Dr Roland Tanner
External expertise:An advisory committee, staffed by representatives from the National Archives of Scotland, National Library of Scotland, and other universities where Scottish History is taught.

Metadata on this record
Author(s) of recordKeith Brown
TitleThe Scottish Parliament Project
Record created2005-11-07
Record updated2011-05-11 15:35
URL of record
Citation of recordKeith Brown: The Scottish Parliament Project. <> created: 2005-11-07, last updated 2011-05-11 15:35
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