About Us

20 July 2017

Historic Environment Scotland archive accolade

Our archives have achieved Archive Service Accreditation, becoming one of only seven archives in Scotland to be awarded this status.

Member of staff in John Sinclair House Search Room
Historic Environment Scotland (HES)'s archives have achieved Archive Service Accreditation, becoming one of only seven archives in Scotland to be awarded this status.
The accreditation panel praised the archive’s “impressive” delivery, particularly in developing its digital offer. Efforts to open up HES collections to wide audiences and engage with the whole Scottish public were also recognised.
HES’s extensive archive gives an unparalleled view of Scotland’s past, spanning a vast range of buildings, archaeological monuments and industrial and maritime sites.
Lesley Ferguson, Head of Archives at HES, said: “Achieving Archive Service Accreditation reflects our commitment to excellence in preserving and making accessible our rich and diverse collections.
“It also recognises the hard work and expertise of our staff as we continue to improve and develop our archive offering.
“Our archive, ranging from historic photographs and architects’ drawings to archaeological surveys, offers a unique view not only of Scotland’s historic environment but indeed the world’s, through the National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP) which is one of the largest and most significant collections of historical aerial photography in the world.
I hope this national recognition will inspire many more people to delve in to our collections.”
Created by archivists from across the UK, the archives accreditation process acknowledges organisations that provide a high level of service to users, preserve collections in line with UK standards and who are committed to sustainable services and ongoing improvement.
In Scotland, accreditation is overseen by the National Records of Scotland and the Scottish Council on Archives.

On behalf of the assessor bodies for Scotland, Dr Irene O’Brien, Chair of the Scottish Council on Archives, said: “Archive Service Accreditation is not a static award but rather a commitment to striving for service quality, not least in what is offered to the public.

“It is wonderful that Historic Environment Scotland is the latest service to join the growing list of Scottish archives to be recognised in this way.
It is a significant accolade and both the service and its increasing number of users have much to celebrate.”
Visitors can consult original archive and collections material in the Search Room at John Sinclair House, Edinburgh, Tuesday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm. Entrance is free. Please visit our Canmore Website for more information.
Canmore, the online catalogue to Scotland’s archaeology, buildings, industrial and maritime heritage, contains more than 320,000 records and 1.3 million catalogue entries for archaeological sites, buildings, industry and maritime heritage across Scotland. 

For historic aerial photography, visit the NCAP website, which provides access to millions of images from all over the world.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017

2017 is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology (HHA), a year that will celebrate Scotland’s people, our distinct culture and traditions, our historic landscapes, attractions and icons as well as our hidden gems and amazing stories. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, 2017 is the year to explore Scotland’s fascinating past. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and a variety of partners.

Get involved on Twitter with #HHA2017

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 logo

Follow Historic Environment Scotland

Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory 

Facebook: @HistoricEnvScotland @VisitHistoricScotland


For further information

Claire Mullaney
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8588
Mobile: 07881 512 379