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About Electric Scotland


Hello, I'm Alastair McIntyre, the creator of the Electric Scotland web site.  I thought it might be of interest to tell you the background to Electric Scotland and where we are going with it.

Essentially Electric Scotland started life back in 1991 while I was running Almac BBS which was Europe's largest Bulletin Board Service. With the web suddenly becoming very popular it was obvious that BBS's had had there day and so it was time to launch a new web service.

Why did I call it "Electric Scotland"?  Well the names I wanted had already gone so we decided that Electric also meant "exciting" and I also wanted Scotland in the name and hence Electric Scotland came into being.

My aim with the site has been to make it a content site by ocr'ing in many great history books on Scotland, the Scots and people and places of Scots descent. So we now have excellent publications up on the general history of Scotland, the Highlands and places in Scotland. We don't really do links to other sites other than clan sites or to acknowledge an article that is sent into us.  The reason for being a content site is so you can read all about our history without having to go anywhere else. With some 150,000 web pages the site is very large and when you consider a web page can have a full chapter of a book or 100 pictures you can see the content is large. At the last count our content took up some 38 GBytes of data.

To this we've added a huge collection of biographies of local Scots showing how they contributed to Scottish history.  To that we've also added loads of information on Scots and Scots descendants around the world.

Over the years we've also received many communications from visitors, clan organizations, and other Scottish societies and also broadened the scope to include Scots-Irish information.

We now have around 150 full publications on the site for you to read including the 9 volume History of Scotland by Tytler, 6 volume General History of the Highlands, Highland Clans and Highland regiments. But we've also got books like the 4 volume Scots in British America and also the 5 volume book on Eminent Scots and the 6 volume Gazetteer of Scotland.

To this we've added old books on Scottish Medicine, Wild Life, Education, Agriculture, etc., which are designed to fill out gaps in our knowledge.

So by far the major work we do on the site is to source good books on Scottish history and Scots from all over the world and is why we have books on Scots in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Africa, France, Spain, Argentina, Sweden, Prussia and many others.

While we do have pages for all the Scottish clans these are meant to be a general introduction to them and where we know of an official clan web site we'll include a link to them as well. Electric Scotland plays no part in general clan activities but will post up clan newsletters or other information if they are sent in to us.

Over the years we have expanded the site to include sections for Poetry and Stories and also a section for Kids where we have a few games and some 800 children's stories. We also included a section for the Scots language, the Knights Templar and Religion. To that we've added a section on music where we also have a 6 volume publication of the songs of Scotland together with the sheet music.

Electric Scotland claims no particular expertise on Scottish history as we do no research ourselves other than looking for informative and readable antiquarian books that we feel will expand our knowledge of Scotland and the Scots.

Our sole income comes from advertising and we're happy that we can make sufficient money to operate the site full time.  As I am a one man business all of the content is placed on the site by myself but I would like to acknowledge the help we get from time to time of friends of the site who will ocr in books for us. These folk have come from around the world to help us and the help is greatly appreciated :-)

Electric Scotland was created and run from Scotland but in 1998 we moved our hosting to Kentucky in the USA.  Later I formed Electric Scotland USA LLC which is an American company and now the business is run by that company and has been for the past 3 years.  I myself moved to the USA and then to Canada and am now personally resident in Canada.

In my will I have left the site to the Scottish Studies Foundation in Toronto. This means that eventually the site will be hosted on the McLaughlin library computers at the University of Guelph and run by the Scottish Studies Dept. at the same University.  The Library holds a massive Scottish collection and is recognised by the government of Canada as a "Collection of National Importance". Likewise the Scottish Studies Dept. at the University of Guelph is the only place in North America where you can study for a Doctorate or Masters in Scottish Studies.  And so this will make a good home for ElectricScotland and thus all our content will be preserved for future generations.

As to the future... we will continue to add more antiquarian books to the site and at time of writing this we have embarked on the 15 volume New Statistical Account of Scotland published in 1845 and the 3 volume "Scottish Nation" which is a history of Scotland told through biographies of Scots. To this we're also publishing the weekly Scottish-Canadian newspaper from 1891.  We have also just acquired 12 volumes of the "Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland".

We are also half way through publishing the first 8 volumes of the Scotch-Irish Society of America. We recently did a biography of the Rev. Normal MacLeod, chaplain to the Queen and in it we discovered that he'd started a weekly publication called "Good Words" so we've also acquired the first volume containing all the first years issues and have made a start at publishing that on the site.

As variety we intend to publish books like "The History of the County of Bruce" which is a county in Ontario Canada where many Scots settled. Another book is "Ocean to Ocean" which is an account of the building of the Canadian Pacific railway. The chief engineer was a Scot and was a massive enterprise and worth reading.

We also plan to publish two books on the early civil and ecclesiastical history of Scotland from around AD80 to AD1100 and of course lots of other books as well :-)

The ElectricScotland.net domain is actually more my own personal site where I've posted umpteen pictures of Scotland as part of my travel journal. It's also where I've been posting my Canadian Journal detailing my efforts at settling in Canada.

The ScotSearch.org domain is my contribution to Scotland as it's a free web search engine dedicated to Scotland. To get onto that you need to be either a Scottish business or organisation or one that is pretty well dedicated to things Scottish. That means we will also list in there Clan Societies, St. Andrews Societies and overseas companies mainly selling Scottish products.

ScotGenealogy.com is a domain we set up to offer a family tree facility to our visitors. It's a totally free service and I'll be the first to note that I don't use it personally so it's up to you to figure out how to use it. I will add however that there is a GedCom export facility which I'd highly recommend you use to take a backup of your data.

We did have other domains but over time have brought them back under the ElectricScotland.com domain. We thought having different domains would make it easier to maintain but that didn't prove to be effective so most have now either been discarded or brought back into ElectricScotland.com.

We are looking to do more audio and video material on the site in the years to come and also hope to provide some community software so visitors can have their own place on ElectricScotland.com and to that end we'll also continue to monitor any new and interesting services on the Internet to bring to our visitors.

We continue to do our weekly email newsletter and have around 6,000 or so members that receive this at the moment. We also continue to add content to the site every day of the year with perhaps an odd missed day if I'm traveling.

So there you have it... a brief intro on what we do :-)

Alastair McIntyre

If you want to learn a bit about myself then you can visit my mini-bio


 


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