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Old Aberdeen, Highlands and Islands


From the sparkling granite of Aberdeen city centre and the Baronial turrets of Balmoral Castle, to black houses on North Uist and standing stones on Orkney, the images presented here illustrate not only the variety of landscapes to be found in the north of Scotland, but also the remarkable extent to which the people of the region have, over the centuries, left behind the imprints of their lives in buildings, agriculture and industry. In some pictures we see Edwardian antiquarians making records of standing stones and stone circles, ancient ritual monuments that date back over 4,000 years. In others it is the grand architecture of the Victorian cityscape that fascinates the eyes. All of these aspects of our built heritage – however big or small – tell stories both about our ancestors and the people we are today. Photography captures history and contextualises single moments of time – and part of the delight of viewing historical images is that they often pose as many questions as they answer. When collected together in their thousands – as in the RCAHMS archives – they preserve a unique record of the past, and, in their sometimes teasing opacity, make you want to discover even more about the places where we have lived and worked for generations.