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Institutional Member

HES Historic Environment Scotland

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) came into existence on 1 October 2015, bringing together Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). HES Archives is one of the national collections in Scotland, responsible for collecting archives relating to architecture, archaeology, the built and maritime environment, and it specialises in aerial photography from around the world.


The HES Archives began with RCAHMS in 1908. Today, it holds more than five million items and continues to record all aspects of the historic environment in Scotland and beyond. Between 1908 and 2015, RCAHMS generated its own collection through measured survey drawings, photography and research. The remit – to collect, record and interpret information relating to Scotland’s archaeological, architectural, industrial and maritime heritage – resulted in an extensive archive. From the earliest years, RCAHMS also accumulated information and material from individuals. A number of organisations were integrated into RCAHMS through time, including the Scottish National Buildings Record (SNBR) in 1966, the Ordnance Survey Archaeology Branch in 1983, the Scottish Industrial Archaeological Survey in 1985, and the Scottish Office Aerial Photographic Unit in 1993 and the Aerial Reconnaissance Archives (TARA) from Keele University in 2008 adding a wealth of historic drawings, prints and engravings, photographs and books to the collection. HES Archives is part of the Heritage Directorate in HES. It works closely with colleagues in the National Collection of Aerial Photography and the HES Collections department.

Library Holdings
Holdings: 14,000 books and periodicals relating to scottish architecture and archaeology, gardens, designed landscapes, industrial archaelogy, topography, trade catalogues etc..

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