RCAHMS Archives

RCAHMS (the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland), 1908 to 2015, was responsible for recording, interpreting and collecting information about the built and historic environment. On 1st October 2015, RCAHMS and Historic Scotland will merged to become Historic Environment Scotland. The Royal Commission was established in 1908, twenty-six years after the passage of the Ancient Monuments Protection Act 1882, which provided the first state protection for ancient monuments in the UK. Since this time, RCAHMS has been surveying and recording the historic environment of Scotland, compiling and maintaining the public record of the archaeological, architectural and historical environment, and promoting an understanding of this information.
Name Description
Curle Diaries Alexander Curle was the RCAHMS secretary between 1908 and 1913. Little did Alexander Curle realise as he penned the words 'Having started on my course of inspection of the ancient monuments of Scotland I have deemed it advisable to keep a journal wherein I may record my various experiences and adventures as such may from time to time befall me', that his 'Private journal of a wandering Antiquary' would be treasured today as one of the initial items in the RCAHMS collections.
Inventories Initially, RCAHMS recorded all buildings and monuments of note until the year 1707. This was later updated to 1805. The findings were published in a series of inventories. Changes in what constitutes a construction "of note", plus developments in how the public could access this information, led to the abandonment of the inventories after publication of the last Argyll volume in 1992. Consequently, only approximately half of Scotland was covered by this method.