A1: What is the name of the geographical area you are writing about?
A2: What is the current status of your answer to the previous question - is it: a nation state? (e.g. France) a legally-defined division of a nation state?
A nation within the United Kingdom (together with England, Wales and Northern Ireland).
A4: Outline history. Describe the historical development of the unit, as it affected its external borders and internal boundaries:
The Scottish nation has all its external border delineated by physical boundaries apart from that with England to the South. Its Internal administrative borders have changed several times for purposes of reflecting population growth as well as gerrymandering!
B1: Describe the MODERN hierarchy of geographical areas used for civil administration:
Post April 1996 there are 11,000 Electoral wards which nest within 32 Council Areas.
The population of each Council area can be found at: http://wood.ccta.gov.uk/grosweb/grosweb.nsf/pages/mye99
B2: How long has this system existed?
Since April 1996.
B3: Describe earlier administrative geographies:
For the purpose of administering the population, the main administrative boundary was the ecclesiastical parish. Both the first(1791) and second (1845) statistical accounts of Scotland reported the population by parish (text predominantly written by Ministers). In 1891, the piecemeal development of the Parish boundaries, which had reflected the scattered development of settlements throughout Scotland was rationalised into fewer (circa 900) and much more sensible, spatially contiguous areas. Local government reform in 1974, brought about the two tier local goverment structure of regions (12) and districts (56). This was scrapped to a one-tier system in April 1996 When the (1100) electoral wards and 32 Council Areas were introduced in place of the Regions and Districts.
C1: When was the first national census of population carried out?
C2: Outline the later history of the census. Have censuses been carried out at regular intervals, and if so with what frequency?
In Scotland the first census was in 1801 and there has been a census every ten years since then with the exception of 1941. The next one will be in April 2001.
C3: What are the main geographical units used in published reports? Have these changed over time?
Main administrative units are Council areas
C4: Is there access to more detailed unpublished information? If so, what geographical units do these refer to?
Scotland is similar to England & Wales (see separate report)
C5: What publications describe the history of the census, and of census geographies? Are any available in English?
Census Users Handbook (Openshaw et al 1993)
D1: When was the recording of vital events (births, marriages and deaths) first required by law?
The entries are recorded in the old parish registers of the church of Scotland, whose oldest volume dates from 1553
D2: What organisation was responsible for recording vital events? How has this changed over time?
Parish registers of the Church of Scotland (1553 - 1855) Registrar General (1855 - current)
D3: What geographical units were used in recording vital events?
Ecclesiastical parishes (1553 - early 20th C) Local government districts (Early 20th C - 1996) Council Areas (1996 - current) (Also post codes 1980 - current)
E1: What historical taxation records exist for your area?
E2: What geographical units do these use?
F1: What other major sources exist, and what geographical units do they use?
First and second statistical accounts of Scotland have very interesting info that can be mapped using a variety of historical parish boundary sources. One to note is the Black's Atlas of Scotland published in 1855 by an Edinburgh Cartographer of the parishes of Scotland by the old Scottish county system.
G1: When was the first computerised map of administrative units created?
G2: What does it show?
Created for the purposes of mapping the 1981 census. It contains the census regions, districts, and wards (pseudo-sectors). Digitised in Digit II and converted into GIMMS format. Purchase, and academic dissemination by, the Data Library for staff and students of Edinburgh University.
G3: How easy is it to obtain a copy?
Available through UKBORDERS
H1: Who was responsible for changing boundaries? How has this changed over time?
Currently the Local government Boundary Commission are responsible for meereing the boundaries. Once they have been officially described in an acceptable fashion, they become legally binding and are represented on Ordnance Survey large scale mapping.
H2: Who was responsible for creating a legal record of boundary changes?
H3: What records have been preserved of boundary changes? Are they published or unpublished? How do they describe the old and new boundaries? How accurately do they give the dates of changes?
LGBC hold unpublished records. Hold them as written descriptions.
H4: Who was responsible for mapping your area? When was this organisation created?
Ordnance Survey - 1791
H6: When did systematic mapping of boundaries begin?
Mid 19th C
H7: What maps are available showing boundaries?
Same answer for England & Wales as for Scotland
H8: For periods before maps are available, are there descriptions of boundaries in words? Where are they preserved? How easy are they to interpret?
LGBC hold written decriptions of the legal boundaries of the country. Unsure of dates for their earliest holdings.
I1: What research projects have gathered information on HISTORICAL boundaries for your area?
The Data Library has captured the Scottish parish boundaries from Blacks Atlas published in 1855. As far as I am aware there are no other projects that are actively gathering information on Scottish historical boundaries. SCRAN (Scottish Cultural Resource Area Network) has collected a lot of text and images, but are not undertaking boundary collection. Project PONT is another project run at the National Library, that is capturing PONTs data.
J1: What historical gazetteers are available for your area, in published or unpublished form? How do they indicate the location of the places listed? Do they cover variant forms of names?
Index of Placenames contains a 12 figure XY grid reference in National grid format. Available from the Data Library in electronic format. The IPN doesnt cover variant forms of names.
J2: Is a more specialised geographical thesaurus available?
Look up tables (LUTs) exist for many of the UK geographies, especially between postal and census geographies. For example the All fields postcode dirctory (AFPD) produced by the Office of National Statistics, is an LUT that cross-walks between census postal, electoral and administrative geographies in Great Britain. To buy the AFPD all (fields) will cost £8,200 + VAT.
© Alistair Towers (Edinburgh, May 2000)