Terms and Conditions

We have written our Terms & Conditions in plain English. We will refer to these as the “Terms” throughout.

The Scotsman Digital Archive website, located at archive.scotsman.com, is operated for Johnston Press plc by brightsolid Newspaper Archive Limited (Company number SC375068) on behalf of the British Library. Johnston Press plc is a UK limited company, incorporated in Scotland. Our registered company number is SC015382 and our registered office address is 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS. Johnston Press plc will be referred to as "we", "us" and "our" throughout these Terms.

These Terms explain our conditions for you using this (Scotsman Digital Archive) website, (including any other related services such as our blogs).

If you use the website, or buy something from us you must agree to the Terms. If you do not agree with our Terms or Privacy Policy, you must not use the website.

Our Privacy Policy forms part of the Terms, so please read that too. The Terms, the Privacy Policy and any other document we refer to in these Terms make up the whole agreement between us.

What you can use the service for

You can only use the website for your own personal non-commercial use.  This means you can use the website to: purchase goods that we may sell on the website; research newspaper archives and other archives featured on the website that you are interested in; download and print low-resolution content for free or high-resolution content subject to payment of a fee (in either event, you cannot share the hardcopy content with any third party); transcribe and quote from website content that is out of copyright; use website content that is still in copyright in accordance with the exemptions set out in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and which includes using the website content for private study, research for non-commercial purposes (provided a suitable acknowledgement is included), and criticism, review and news reporting (again provided a suitable acknowledgement is included); make use of the social network functionality on the website including our networking tag and comment facilities; and post links to any article or content of interest on third party sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Google. We are also happy for you to help out other people by telling them about the newspaper archives and other information available on the website and how and where they can be found. However, you must not provide them with copies of any of the newspapers (either an original image of the newspapers or the information on the results page), even if you provide them for free.   

You are not permitted to use the website or services for commercial, business or professional use or gain. Nor are you permitted to copy website content and share this with your friends, family, colleagues or any third party whether in physical hard copy, email or by other means.

Getting access to the newspaper archives and images

The index of the newspaper archive featured on the website can be searched for free, from any location. If you wish to view the images of the newspaper archive or use some features of the website you will need to buy either a Subscription Package. You have to register with us and be signed in to buy a Subscription Package. The contract between you and us for your use of the newspaper archive begins when we send you a confirmation email, after receiving your order and accepting your payment.


You have to register with us and be signed in to use some features of the website. If you are under 18, don’t register unless you have permission from your legal guardian (usually a parent) to do so. Keep your sign in details private at all times, do not share them with anybody, and let us know if you think somebody else has access to them. Do not use the “remember me” feature to keep yourself signed in unless you are using your own personal computer. You must keep your personal information accurate and up to date, especially your email address.

Personal data and payment security

Please read our Privacy Policy to find out how we protect your personal data and credit/debit card information.

Subscription Packages

We offer several Subscription Packages. We have four time limited Subscription Packages which allow you unlimited access (subject to our Fair Usage Policy, outlined below) to the archive for the period of your package. Our four Subscription Packages are valid for 2, 7, 30 day and 12 months.

Continuous membership

When you take out a subscription, it is on a continuous membership basis, meaning that your subscription will automatically renew unless you cancel it. You can cancel it in the ‘my account’ area. If you do not cancel the continuous membership within five days of the expiry date, we will automatically renew your subscription and will take the next payment two to three days before your current subscription ends. We will send you an email before we do this. This is to make sure we don’t cut off your access to archive.scotsman.com. You can turn off continuous membership at any time from the “my account” area with no hassle – we don’t make you call us or do anything else horrible. You must opt out of the continuous membership before the expiry date if you do not want your subscription to automatically renew, and we cannot provide refunds for a continuous membership subscription which has been renewed in this way.

Fair Usage Policy

Why do we have a fair usage policy for subscribers? Well, it is certainly not a way to penalise or hold back our customers from conducting their personal research.

We have this in place purely for the (very rare) cases where people might abuse the service, and it is designed to keep the price of subscriptions as low as possible for our customers.

You are permitted to view an average of 1000 pages per month (calculated over a 3 month period). If you get close to the limit, we’ll send you an email to warn you. We always contact users to establish the reason for abnormally heavy use of the site and if they’re just doing their own personal research, we obviously don’t penalise them. However, should you continually breach the Fair Usage Policy terms following communication from us, we reserve the right to terminate your subscription.

We constantly review the limit, based on average usage of the site by all users. We will continue to keep an eye on this and make adjustments as necessary.

Many services today (such as broadband packages) have similar fair usage policies and they work in the same way as ours i.e they are designed to catch those who use the service excessively (which would drive up the price or reduce the quality of service for the majority of users).

We hope this explains things - Please contact Customer Support if you have any further questions.

Cancellation and your right to a refund

If you buy a subscription or PayAsYouGo credits, you can contact Customer Support and cancel within seven days of receipt of our confirmation email and we will happily give you a full refund as long as you have not viewed any images of the newspaper archive.

Intellectual property rights (including copyright) in the newspaper archive and services we provide

All intellectual property rights in the website, content on the website or accessed as part of the website and any database operated by us belongs to us or has been licensed to us. You are not allowed to copy, reproduce, redistribute, download or use the website or any part of it other than as permitted here. All other rights are reserved.

You can use the content on the website for private and non-commercial purposes only.

Please contact us if you want to use the website, newspaper archives or features for anything apart from your own research, we try to be accommodating where we can be, but as most of the newspaper archive belongs to other people, we will require their permission for you to use it. You can read more about copyright in this government guide.

Respecting your intellectual property rights (including copyright)

If you believe that you own the copyright in any of the content on the website, and we have not recognised you as the copyright owner, please contact Customer Support and we will investigate quickly. While we are investigating, we may temporarily remove the newspaper archive in question. If we agree that you are the copyright owner, we will work with you to find a solution that you agree with, or we will take the relevant part of the newspaper archive in question off the website permanently.

Content created by users

On some parts of the website, you can publish things, make comments or participate on forums. There are four types of content that you can create:-

1. Any article can be tagged. This will be an anonymous public tag that you will be unable to delete, but which other users can search against. 2. You can make comments on any article. We will make any comments you make public (although these will have a screen name attached to them, not your actual name), but will not be searchable. 3. 'MyNotes' can be added to any article. These are private to you and cannot be viewed by any other user or searched against. 4. You are permitted to edit and correct OCR text. Any corrections will be saved and added to the search index.
If you publish content, make comments or participate in forums, you must not:

- publish something that you do not own the copyright in (or have permission to publish it from the copyright owner)

- include anything we consider offensive, inappropriate or defamatory (this is at our discretion)

- break the law, for example by saying something that you could be sued for

- share the personal information of living people without their permission. You are responsible for managing content you create, including using privacy settings we make available.

How we use content created by users

You keep the copyright in any content that you create or publish on the website, but by publishing it you give us permission to use it for any purpose connected to the website or our business and to edit, adapt or modify it as we wish. You will not assert any moral rights in the material that you create or publish on the website. If we use any of your personal information (for example your name) in connection with it, we will ask your permission first. We may also make your content available to other users of the website, to users of websites that are either part of our company group or with whom we have a partnership, and by internet search engines.

Monitoring content created by users

We do not monitor content published by our users and take no responsibility for things that you publish. If you see something on the site that you think is offensive, illegal or which isn’t in line with these Terms, please let us know. We don’t guarantee that we will always remove it, but we will certainly look into it. We reserve the right to remove content that you create, at our discretion. Any content we do decide to remove will be done so in accordance with our Take Down Procedures.


All promotions are strictly one per customer. This includes registration credits and promotional voucher codes. If you persistently create pseudo accounts to take advantage of a promotional offer or use the offer for professional purposes, we reserve the right to stop your access and to terminate our agreement with you.

Availability and changes to the website or newspaper archive

The availability of the website and/or newspaper archive is not guaranteed. The website and newspaper archive are provided on an “as is” basis and are subject to change. We do not warrant or promise that the website will always be available or fully functional and reserve the right to withdraw the website or any newspaper archive at any time and will not be liable to you for any losses you might suffer.

In the event we are notified that any of the material featured on the website (whether newspaper archive material or user generated content) potentially infringes the rights of any third party, we reserve the right to remove that content in accordance with our Take Down Procedures. The content will remain removed until we have conducted our investigation into the allegations made and may be permanently removed depending on the outcome of our investigation.

If you’re a subscriber, you will generally have access to lots of new images of newspaper archive available to view through your subscription at no extra cost during the period of your subscription. if we launch a major new collection, we might make a separate charge for it, but this is rare. We may also change prices, make special offers to groups or individuals, or change the number of credits charged to view a record from time to time.

Things beyond our control

If we are prevented or delayed in the performance of our obligations under the Terms arising from or attributable to acts, events, omissions or circumstances beyond our control, including but not limited to, acts of God, perils of the sea or air, fire, flood, drought, explosion, sabotage, accident, embargo, riot, civil commotion or civil authority including acts of local government and parliamentary authority; breakdown of equipment; telecommunication failures; epidemic; war; terrorism; extreme adverse weather conditions; and labour disputes of whatever nature and for whatever cause arising including, but not limited to, work to rule, overtime, strikes and lockouts, then we will notify you of the circumstance and will be excused from the performance or the punctual performance as the case may be from the date of notice we provide you with for so long as such cause of prevention or delay continues. We will not be liable to you for any loss you may suffer during as a result of circumstances beyond our control.

Customer support and complaints

We will always aim to fix problems where we can. If you have a question, suggestion or complaint about the website or any of the content featured on the website please contact the Customer Support team first and we’ll do our best to sort it out.

If you have any complaints about goods purchased through the website, please contact the Customer Support team first.

When we might stop you using the website

If you breach these Terms, regularly break the fair usage limit, or we cannot take a payment for a subscription when it is due, we reserve the right to stop you using the website and to terminate our agreement. If you persistently offer lookups to other people and provide them with newspaper archive, or use a personal subscription for professional purposes, we also reserve the right to stop your access and to terminate our agreement with you. In all these cases you will have no right to a refund.

Some legal bits

Liability: The only warranties or promises we give are set out in this document and in so far as we are permitted to do so by law, all warranties in respect of the website and newspaper archive are excluded. We can’t accept liability for any indirect or consequential losses, loss of data or any use of content you suffer from using the website, although we never limit liability for personal injury or death caused by our negligence or fraud. For any other loss you suffer that is caused by us, we limit the liability we have to you to the total money you spent on the website in the 12 calendar months before you make a claim against us. Your statutory rights are not affected.

Assignment: These Terms and Privacy Policy are personal to you, and you are not allowed to transfer your rights under this agreement to anyone else.

Severance: If any part of these Terms or Privacy Policy no longer applies or is no longer legally enforceable, then that part will be severed from the rest of the agreement and the rest will continue to apply.

The law

These Terms are made under English law, and any arguments about them will only be heard in English courts.

Changes to this agreement

Any changes we make to our rights under this agreement will be made in writing.

Contact Us

We hope that’s clear (and fair). If it isn’t or you have another question that isn’t covered, please contact us.