A bit of plugging going on for something my employer is up to – though don’t worry, it isn’t in the least bit controversial.

The University of Stirling is home to a new project entitled the Scottish Political Archive which seeks to chronicle Scotland’s political history through photographs and campaign material.  The project is still in its early stages and a lot of cataloguing work is still ongoing (along with website construction) but there’s plenty to see already.

I stuck a few links up on Twitter a couple of days ago and the reaction from politicos seemed fairly positive – with many enjoying seeing a slightly different side to the politicians they thought they knew quite well (John Swinney with hair brought several giggles from the assembled Twitterati).

This post is really to serve two purposes – firstly, I’m trying to advertise it.  It’s kind of a service for political junkies (the kind of people who, say, read political blogs) to show the evolution of Scottish politics through media, photography and campaigning over the last 60 or 70 years.  So use it – go and have a look through some of the photographs, look for your favourite politicians, keep an eye out on Facebook for updates to the site as well.

You can see the photographs on Flickr here or “like” the Scottish Political Archive on Facebook here (Facebook login required).  Alternatively, the Scottish Political Archive’s photo blog is here, which carries the same material in a slightly different format.

Secondly, its a plea for help.  But I’m not asking for much.  The Scottish Political Archive is trying to make its picture as complete as it can.  Current work is focused on three collections – those of the Scots Independent newspaper, Bruce Watson (former SNP Chairman) and George Robertson (former Labour MP and NATO Secretary-General).  They range from photographs, policy documents, campaign materials and pamphlets.  But they don’t want to stop there.

To that end, they are looking for material.  Photographs of politicians at campaign stops, conferences, leaflets for elections and by-elections… you know the kind of thing.  If you have that sort of thing (and if you don’t, you’re not a real political anorak) lying around – probably in your garage – get in touch.  The Scottish Political Archive would be delighted to take it, scan it, archive it online – and return it to you (unless you want rid of it!).  Of particular interest are materials from 1979 and 1997 referendums, by-election campaigns and other election materials.

You can contact the Scottish Political Archive through Facebook or by emailing scottishpoliticalarchive@stir.ac.uk if you have anything you’d like to share.

Apologies for this being a text-only post. I would have used a photo from the archive, but I think some of them have special copyright/ permission status, and I’m not sure which ones!  Anyway – have a wee look, and let them know what you think!