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Scottish National Buildings Record


The HES Archive includes a wealth of material illustrating Scotland's built heritage, including photographs from the Scottish National Buildings Record (SNBR). The SNBR collection comprises over 20,000 photographs taken between 1941 and 1966 forming a unique historical record of buildings and townscapes from that era, many of which have subsequently been demolished or altered significantly.

The SNBR was established in 1941 with the remit to make an emergency record of Scotland's historic architecture, and this work continued after the war when many buildings were threatened by demolition or alterations. The SNBR was taken over by the Ministry of Works in 1954, and in 1966 it transferred to RCAHMS. Recording buildings at risk remains one of our key roles.

We are currently in the process of digitising and cataloguing the negatives from the SNBR collection and more than 6000 photographs are now available online. HES has an active volunteer programme and some of the cataloguing has been carried out by one of our volunteers. A selection of the best photographs has been included in this gallery and new ones will be added weekly.

Kristina Watson, Archivist, Historic Environment Scotland