11th May 2020

In_pictures Public asked to solve Scottish archive picture mystery

In_pictures Public asked to solve Scottish archive picture mystery

In_pictures

in_pictures street viewImage copyright
HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND

The public are being asked to help identify over 5,000 images from an official archive.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has made copies of the old prints and negatives available online.

In total, 170,000 archive items have been digitised and added to the HES website Canmore.

in_pictures Black houseImage copyright
HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND

in_pictures RuinImage copyright
HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND

They had been part of a Scottish Development Department collection which was brought together in 1962.

The images are a record of both rural and urban life in Scotland, many from the 1970s and 1980s.

Most of the pictures come with information about where and when they were taken. But the 5,000 mystery items have been put in a gallery with an appeal for information about them.

in_pictures MonumentImage copyright
HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND

Much more is known about approximately 14,000 prints which were also digitised from personal research and work by prominent archaeologists such as Dr Euan Mackie, Roger Mercer and Vere Gordon Childe.

The oldest of these dates from around 1927.

Lesley Ferguson, the head of archives at HES, said: “These archives give a unique perspective on civic planning in the 20th Century including the development and growth of Scotland’s new towns, while the images of excavations showcase the sites that helped archaeologists unlock the secrets of Scotland’s past – from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages.

in_pictures street viewImage copyright
HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND

in_pictures street viewImage copyright
HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND

“Unfortunately, we don’t know where some of these historic photographs were taken and that’s why we are asking for the public’s help. Perhaps there’s a photo of your street, or your local pub, or even the flat you lived in as a student.

“Help us discover more of Scotland’s past by visiting Canmore and letting us know if you recognise any of the places documented in these archives.

“By digitising our archives, we’re able to make them available to even more people. Digitisation helps us make heritage accessible to all as well as ensuring the long-term preservation of these important documents and photographs.”

in_pictures Public barImage copyright
HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT SCOTLAND

To provide HES with details or locations of its archives, please email archives@hes.scot or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

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