HES Archives and Library

Step inside the HES Archives and Library in Edinburgh and explore Scotland's past through over five million historic photographs, drawings and more.

Hes Archives And Library

About HES Archives and Library

John Sinclair House 16 Bernard Terrace, Edinburgh South EH8 9NX
HES Archives and Library Website
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Our extensive archive in Edinburgh spans a whole range of buildings, archaeological monuments and industrial and maritime sites, giving unparalleled insight into Scotland’s stories.

The archives – compiled and managed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) – first began in 1908. Today, we hold more than five million items and continue to record all aspects of the historic environment.

What to see and do:

Discover information about Scotland's places through documents and books

Browse architects’ drawings, historic photographs or excavation archives

Trace our changing landscape through historic and modern maps and photographs

Consult the National Collection of Aerial Photography - advance bookings are required

Access online resources such as Canmore and Scran

Upcoming Events at HES Archives and Library

Touring Scotland with Boswell and Johnson

Touring Scotland with Boswell and Johnson

11th November 2019
Joe Waterfield uses HES archive photographs and drawings to recreate the unforgettable Scottish tour in 1773 of lexicographer Samuel Johnson and biographer James Boswell.
Looking after your Family Archive

Looking after your Family Archive

14th November 2019
Come and meet the HES paper conservators at HES Archives and Library for some practical advice on how to care for your family papers and photographs.
Tulips, Dragons, and Tweety Birds

Tulips, Dragons, and Tweety Birds

10th February 2020
Join Ali Davey at HES Archives and Library on 10th February to explore the work of early 20th Century blacksmith, Thomas Hadden.
Stained Glass Designers and Sculptors

Stained Glass Designers and Sculptors

9th March 2020
Fiona Hall will showcase the wealth of archives resources available to help research into stained glass designers and sculptors in these talks at HES Archives and Library.

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Popular Events

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A popular feature of the Traverse programme, A Play, A Pie and A Pint, Òran Mór returns with six new plays to light up your lunchtime. Ticket includes a pie and a drink.
German Winds and Edinburgh Concert Band Joint Concert
Edinburgh Concert Band are thrilled to be joining German Winds’ Scotland 2019 tour at their Edinburgh Concert in Greyfriars Kirk on Saturday 5th October.
Fun Fair: Loanhead
FunTastic Events Fun Fair returns to Memorial Park, Loanhead from 18th to 22nd September with money off vouchers available in local shops and on their Facebook page!
Ash Pryce: Paranormal Illusionist
Ash Pryce, Edinburgh Horror Festival Sell Out Performer 2016, 2017, 2018, brings his brand new show 'Paranormal Illusionist' to the Banshee Labyrinth.
Mamma Mia
Don't miss the sensational feel-good musical MAMMA MIA! when it returns to Edinburgh Playhouse in September 2019, to open a UK Tour celebrating 20 years since it's London premier!

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