Glass Plate Negatives

The RCAHMS National Collection includes historic photographs illustrating and recording Scotland's people and places. Dating from the 1850s through to the 1950s, there are thousands of original glass plate negatives taken by both professional and amateur photographers, which illustrate a wide range of archaeological and architectural subjects.

Some of the key photographers represented include Alexander and Francis Caird Inglis, Lady Henrietta Gilmour, Erskine Beveridge, Harry Bedford Lemere, Francis M Chrystal, Thomas Polson Lugton, John Hay, James Ritchie, B C Clayton, Archibald Brown and John Patrick. There are also some of the earliest photographs taken to illustrate the RCAHMS inventories. This gallery highlights images by these photographers and contains examples which are being made available online for the first time.

There is a preventive conservation programme for the glass plate negatives to ensure optimum conditions for storage and appropriate housing to ensure their long-term preservation. We also maintain an active digitisation programme of the collections, with new images being added to Canmore every day.


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