Diaspora Histories

Scotland's Diaspora

Emigration has shaped Scotland, its society, culture and communities, for many centuries – from the emigration of Highlanders cleared from their lands to the departure of those keen for a new adventure in distant lands. Viewed through the prism of these outward movements, Scotland has long since been a global diasporic nation. Learn more about its histories on this site.

The Scottish Diaspora Map

Since their first exploits making home in London and buidling the Scottish community there, Scots have settled in many places. This clickable map allows you to explore some of them, and the Scots who went there, in more detail.

Transeuropean Scots Project

While Scottish diaspora scholarship has expanded significantly, continental Europe has received relatively little attention and we lack understanding of how Scotland’s European diaspora is an interconnected part of ‘global Scotland’. Brexit brings this into sharp focus, marking a rupture in Scotland’s relationship with continental Europe that has real impact on the Scottish immigrant community there.

Continental Europeans in Scotland

On the eve of the First World War, Scotland was home to about 25,000 continental European residents. Most of them had come from southern and eastern Europe. There was a significant proportion of Italians, for example, though the majority came from Russia and Poland. Most of them settled in the west of Scotland, an effect of the work opportunities there.