Though the SNP has existed since 1934, no full-length history of the party has been written until now. This book aims to remedy that failing by assessing the development and impact of the SNP from its pre-formation days in the 1920s to its experiences in the devolved Scotland that emerged in 1999. This book was based on a variety of original sources such as interviews, newspapers and SNP documents. The latter included the large Mclntyre archive in the National Library of Scotland (Acc 10090) as well as the archives provided by the SNP (Acc 10754), Roland Muirhead (Acc 3721), Arthur Donaldson (Acc 7295) and Gavin Kennedy (Acc 11565). Over the years, interviews were conducted with senior politicians such as Robert Mclntyre, Jimmy Halliday, Billy Wolfe, Gordon Wilson, Mike Russell and John Swinney. The SNP's National Organiser, Allison Hunter, was also extremely useful, as was Irene White the former Director of Administration. Former National Organiser, Alan McKinney also provided background material and insights. Many other SNP members, current and former, were helpful in providing information and insights into the history of the party such as Alasdair Allan, Douglas Robertson, Helen Davidson, Russell Horn, Roger Mullin, George Reid and Jim Lynch. Jim Mather and Joan Knott were kind enough to let me examine some of the SNP's annual accounts which helped the chapters on the 1980s and 1990s in particular.
Major works on the SNP and the national movement by Jack Brand, Richard Finlay and James Mitchell were also hugely useful in completing this book and their high levels of scholarship made the completion of this work a much easier task. Thanks are also due to Ian Hutchison, Reader in History at the University of Stirling for reading and commenting on some of the drafts of this book.
Finally, this book is dedicated to three very different types of Nationalist, each of whom made a considerable contribution to the SNP. First, there is Billy Wolfe, the party leader from 1969 to 1979. If there is one figure who dragged the SNP into the modern political era as a serious political party – with policies, ideas and a more coherent ideological stance - it was Wolfe. He wrote many policies himself, established policymaking structures within the SNP and also brought it to embrace Social Democracy in the 1970s. Second, there is Angus McGillveray, a former painter and decorator who became a key part of the SNP's election team in West Lothian when Billy Wolfe challenged for the seat in 1962. Angus was the . . .