Our research enables us to understand and care for the historic environment.

Knowledge of the past is vital for informing our work, and for promoting a broader understanding of our history and prehistory in the future.

We’re active in a range of research fields, including surveying and recording, conservation science, physical and digital archiving, and measuring the historic environment’s social and economic value.

Find out more about our research work.

Our research is broadly split across five key areas:

Understanding: By investigating and recording the historic environment, we continually develop knowledge and understanding of our past. This helps inform our work to conserve, sustain and protect it.

Protecting: Our research helps us protect the historic environment, allowing us and future generations to enjoy and benefit from it.

Valuing: By understanding our historic environment we can share and celebrate its richness and significance.

Leading and enabling: We want Scotland’s historic environment to make a strong contribution to the country’s cultural, social, environmental and economic well-being. Our research helps to capture the wider impact of our heritage on Scotland.

Performing: Tracking changes in the historic environment and in our own performance helps to inform our future actions.

Historic Environment Scotland is an Independent Research Organisation with the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

We’re also part of the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium, which aims to deliver world-class research through doctoral partnerships, promoting collaboration between the academic community and Scotland’s national collections.

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