The Scottish Emigration Database, 1923



Since the 1980s scholarly research into emigration from the British Isles has led to the publication of a substantial body of monographs, articles and collections of essays, which have addressed the subject from a variety of thematic, chronological, regional and international perspectives. The Scottish Emigration Database is the product of an Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) funded project based at the University of Aberdeen's AHRB Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies from January 2003 to March 2005. The Data Compilation and Analysis Project: Diaspora Studies was one of seven projects funded through the Centre's Diaspora Programme. The research for the project had a two-year timeframe. The first eighteen months were spent in digitising the source documents and compiling the relational database, with the final six months being devoted to analysis. In view of the huge volume of archival material, it was decided to select records at ten-year intervals, rather than attempt comprehensive coverage. These snapshots were to include the first year that full records become available (1890), the upsurge in external migration just before the First World War (1910), the resurgence of the movement after the war (1920), the nadir of the depression (1930) and the period after World War II when air travel was beginning to take over from ocean passage (1960). It was subsequently decided to add 1923 to the sample, owing to its particular significance for Scottish emigration.The physical process of digitisation took place at The National Archives in Kew (London). The source documents were passenger lists (sometimes referred to as passenger manifests) completed by the pursers of shipping companies that conveyed passengers to ports outside Europe and the Mediterranean between 1890 and 1960. Using a Finepix S602 camera, each page was photographed twice, generating over 6,000 digital images, which were subsequently stored on DVD. Only one picture of each of these manifests is available in this study. Main Topics:This study features the collection of digital images that were generated in this project. This collection of images comprises in particular emigration records for the ports of Dundee, Glasgow, Leith, Lochboisdale and Stornoway for the year of 1923. In these records, entries about various aspects of passengers such as city of origin, age, occupation, and of the ships that were used such as ship's name, steamship line to which they belonged, and registration can be viewed.
Date made available10 Aug 2005
PublisherUK Data Service
Temporal coverage1 Jan 1923 - 30 Apr 1923
Date of data production10 Aug 2005

Funder and Grant Reference number

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • APN11192

Cite this