Scottish Archive eBooks are located in the community of Grimshader (Griomsidar) on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Western Isles. With neighbours engaged in more traditional activities such as crofting and weaving, we see ourselves as a cottage industry for the 21st century!
Following in the footsteps of similar projects established elsewhere around the world, in 2005 we decided that there was a need to digitise and preserve rare Scottish material for future generations. In late 2007 assistance was obtained from HIE Innse Gall and this enabled us to buy the equipment and software we needed to begin.
In May 2008 we opened this website to market our eBooks on CD-ROM. Our eBooks contain high quality images and are produced in searchable .pdf format. They are mainly Scottish-related source material, literature and reference works. We hope they prove to be of interest to researchers as well as anyone interested in genealogy, family and local history, Scots and Gaelic literature, poetry and prose, and travel and topography... in fact anything to do with Scotland and much more besides!
We hope to have new CD-ROMs available for release regularly. For details of forthcoming titles, please click on the Customer Information tab above.
To browse through our current titles, please navigate by clicking on one of the Categories shown on the left.
Most of our work involves taking works which are no longer in print (and are copyright-expired), imaging them and converting them into searchable .pdf files which we then market via this website and distribute worldwide on CD-ROM. Why do we do this? Many reasons! For a start we enjoy old books. And having been a history student and amateur genealogist know just how difficult it can be to get hold of some of the rarer works. We therefore take some satisfaction in knowing that by doing this we are making these old and sometimes scarce works permanently available to a worldwide readership.
We endeavour to ensure that our products are of the highest quality. As you can see in the photograph below, we supply all our CD-ROMs in a sturdy case. Most of our eBooks retain the 8-bit greyscale (or 24-bit colour) they are originally imaged in. The result is improved OCR (optical character recognition) accuracy and higher quality images and prints. We also examine the text produced by the OCR process to remove most of the remaining errors. Finally once our CD-ROMs are manufactured we test them for defects. Should a single "C2 error" appear on the disc, it is rejected.
And remember, ALL these titles are searchable in Acrobat Reader and are bookmarked.
Please email us with suggestions for titles that you'd like us to make available on CD-ROM.
But if the books are old, won't scanning damage them? - Yes, it could. So when copying our more fragile volumes we use digital photographic techniques to image the book.
Surely a .pdf file on CD-ROM is no match for a hard copy of a real 'live' book? - Absolutely! There's nothing to compare with a real book, however our eBooks do have one distinct advantage over their paper originals, and it is that they are searchable! Simply type the word or phrase you're looking for into Acrobat/Adobe Readers Search box and every occurance of the word or phrase in the eBook will be found! This can be a great advantage, as many old books and documents are either poorly indexed, or not indexed at all!
Why should I buy a CD-ROM if a free copy is available on the internet? - Because 'you get what you pay for'. We do not wish to decry the invaluable service that Google books have provided, but our eBooks do not have pages missing, nor are they badly distorted, nor in monochrome when they were originally in colour. And don't forget, our eBooks are all searchable to a very high degree of accuracy in Acrobat/Adobe Reader and have been bookmarked for ease of access.