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Papers of John Nicolson, antiquarian, Keiss, Caithness, Scotland

551 146

Description Papers of John Nicolson, antiquarian, Keiss, Caithness, Scotland

Date 1914 to 1916

Collection Papers of John Nicolson, antiquarian, Keiss, Caithness, Scotland

Catalogue Number 551 146

Category All Other

Scope and Content A collection of papers, photographs, drawings and manuscripts assembled by John Nicolson, relating to archaeological investigations in Caithness.

Archive History The collection was gifted to RCAHMS by Nicolson's grandson, in 2005 (Acc No 2005/182). Prior to this the collection had been held, on loan, by the Northlands Viking Centre.

System of Arrangement The collection is arranged by subject: personal papers; material relating to archaeological investigation; other artwork; a collection of historical documents.

Related Material The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland collection contains correspondence and photographs relating to Sir Francis Tress Barry's investigations of Caithness sites, with which Nicolson assisted.

Access Conditions There are no restrictions upon access to material, except where necessitated by conservation reasons.

Administrative History John Nicolson (1843-1934) was a Caithness farmer with a deep interest in history and a clear talent for painting and sculpture. He was fascinated by the early history of Caithness and actively collected information and documents. With the arrival of Sir Francis Tress Barry at Keiss Castle in 1890, Nicolson became involved in archaeology acting as foreman on Barry’s excavations. He sketched and painted many of the objects recovered from the excavations, from pieces of pottery, bone pins, stone tools, bone combs, painted pebbles, as well as preparing drawings of the actual excavations.

Accruals No further accruals are expected.


Collection Hierarchy - Collection Level

Collection Level (551 146) Papers of John Nicolson, antiquarian, Keiss, Caithness, Scotland

Preview Category Catalogue Number Title Date Level
All Other 551 146/1 Personal and Family Papers Group Level
All Other 551 146/2 Archaeology Papers and Artwork Group Level
All Other 551 146/3 Other Artwork Group Level
All Other 551 146/4 Legal documents collected by John Nicolson Batch Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images PA 233/2 Photograph, distant view of Keiss Castle, 1893. 1893 Item Level

People and Organisations