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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 :-)
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.
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".
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
you have it... a brief intro on what we do :-)
If you want to learn a bit about myself then
you can visit my mini-bio