Heritage Education Forum

The Heritage Education forum represents the national cultural organisations in Scotland. Some of their member bodies are able to provide opportunities for pupils undertaking the Interdisciplinary Project unit to undertake research and access resources, collections or their education departments. Although this is most appropriate for Expressive Arts or Social Sciences pupils, it may also be of interest to some Languages or Science project themes.

For more information about each organisation including weblinks and contact details please see the information below:

Archaeology Scotland

Archaeology Scotland is a key centre for knowledge and expertise for Scottish archaeology. We bring together those for whom archaeology is an interest, an active pastime or a career. We support local and national archaeological initiatives, campaign for the best possible conservation and management outcomes for our heritage and strive to ensure that everyone with an interest can participate and learn about archaeology.

We can offer help to pupils with how to explore their locality through archaeology. We can provide resources on how to undertake practical recording and research guidance. We can also put pupils in touch with any local archaeology societies or others in the archaeology community who might also be able to help.

Catherine Knops, Learning Officer;
Tel: 0845 872 3333

National Galleries of Scotland

National Galleries of Scotland aims to provide the visitor with the best possible experience of looking at, appreciating and interacting with its world class collection of art dating from the 13th century to modern day. We have five sites in Edinburgh Ė Scottish National Gallery, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art 1 & 2 and the Royal Scottish Academy; as well as Paxton House in Scottish Borders and Duff House in Aberdeenshire.

We can provide pupils with access to our education department (and potentially other departments) for example to work with education staff and freelancers to develop child/young people focussed resources/guides etc. We can also provide access to the collection and behind the scenes development and installation of exhibitions etc.

Joanna Mawdsley, Schools Education Officer, Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL.

National Records of Scotland (NRS)

Within the NRS, we hold historical records, dating from the12th century to the present, created by private individuals, government, businesses, landed estates, families, churches and other corporate bodies. The range of primary sources among the archives is extensive and includes charters, correspondence, reports, letters, diaries, maps, plans and photographs.

The Education Team can assist students who wish to research the records for themselves to support a topic or theme of their choice. You can apply for a readerís ticket to access the records in our Historical Search Room on the first floor of General Register House in Edinburgh.

You can carry out their your preliminary search on our on-line catalogue but thereafter prior contact with an NRS Education Officer is essential for us to advise what is and is not possible. We recommend teachers and students visit the National Records of Scotland website for general guidance at https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/ and the catalogue is available at http://catalogue.nrscotland.gov.uk/nrsonlinecatalogue/welcome.aspx.

Margaret McBryde
Head of Education Services
National Records of Scotland
H M General Register House
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YY
Email: education@nas.gov.uk
Tel: 0131 535 1340

The NRS also offers a range of websites that provide access to online support, resources and information on a wide range of topics relating to Scotlandís past.

Scotlandís People
If you are interested in family history and tracing your family tree, this website provides access to the records of births, marriages and deaths, census as well as wills and testaments, valuation rolls, Coats of Arms for Scotland and Roman Catholic parish registers.

Scotlandís Places
This website provides information relating to Scottish places, past and present, including maps and plans for counties, parishes, cities, towns, villages, farms, roads, canals, harbours, churches, school, public building, private houses as well as photographs, historical tax rolls and archaeological reports on historic and prehistoric sites.

Scottish Handwriting
This website offers online tuition in palaeography for researchers who have problems reading manuscript historical records written in Scotland in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The emphasis of the website is on practical help to improve the palaeographical skills, rather than on the academic study of Scottish handwriting.

The Scottish Register of Tartans
Visit this website if you are interested in tartan, its history and the many designs that have been created and are being created for clans, the world of fashion or to commemorate particular people or events.

General Register Office for Scotland
This website provides information on

  • the registration of births, marriages and deaths in Scotland
  • statistics
  • life expectancy, households, population and migration
  • geography
  • ĎBeyond 2011 Censusí project Ė what will the 2021 census consist of?


Scotlandís Census 2011
This website provides the results of the 2011 Census and explains how the census data helps the planning of Scotlandís future.

Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland

The Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) is one of Scotland's National Collections and is based in Edinburgh. It is responsible for surveying and recording the built environment of Scotland from prehistory right up to the present day, and for actively creating and maintaining a record of these sites. This means that it's a good starting point for a whole range of information on the built environment of Scotland, whether architectural or archaeological - images, geographic location, historical maps, plans and other documents and suggestions for further reading and research.

We can provide the research opportunities for pupils through our online(see below) and in-person services.

RCAHMS, 16 Bernard Terrace, Edinburgh EH8 9NX.
Tel: 0131-662-1456

Online Resources

Canmore: http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/
Canmore is the heart of the RCAHMS archive, providing searchable, map-based information on buildings and archaeological sites throughout Scotland.

National Collection of Aerial Photography: http://aerial.rcahms.gov.uk/
RCAHMS Aerial Photography website draws from Scotland's National Collection of Aerial Photography, an internationally important collection comprising over 1.6 million images of Scotland, and tens of millions of military intelligence photographs of locations across the globe.

Scran: http://www.scran.ac.uk/
Scran is an online image archive, which offers subscribers fully searchable access to over 360,000 copyright-cleared resources for educational use.

Scotlandís Places: http://www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/
Search online for invaluable historic documents, records and images relating to places throughout Scotland, past and present, drawn together from material held by RCAHMS, the National Records of Scotland and the National Libraries of Scotland. Scotlandís Places is a new website offering an innovative way to explore items from these national collections through detailed interactive maps linking archive material to specific locations. 

Britain from Abovehttp://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/
The site features some of the oldest and most valuable images of the Aerofilms Collection, a unique and important archive of over 1 million aerial photographs taken between 1919 and 2006.

Buildings 'at risk' Register: http://buildingsatrisk.org.uk/
The online register of Scottish buildings of architectural or historic merit considered to be at risk or under threat.