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Scottish Development Department - Recently Identified


The Scottish Development Department collection consists of approximately 70,000 plastic photographic negatives and some printed photographs, as well as additional reference documentation for the majority of these images in the form of ‘record sheets’. These photographs and corresponding records sheets were captured by Scottish Development Department investigators, predominately in the 1970s and 1980s. Photographs show both urban and rural areas throughout Scotland, including cities, towns and villages.

Unfortunately not all photographs were referenced in the collection's record sheets. Since May 2020, thanks to the public's help, over 1,000 previously unidentified photographs have been identified. Some of these photographs are displayed in this gallery, identified by the public and project archivists between May and July 2020.

This collection was digitised as part of our three-year Digital Project, with the goal to make ‘invisible’ archives visible. The Scottish Development Department was one of several collections identified for mass digitisation, and was digitised in Year 2 of the project. Further information about the Digital Project can be found here: