August 25, 2019  
AboutMore about the Scottish Catholic Archives  
More about the Scottish Catholic Archives

Welcome to the Scottish Catholic Archives.   The Scottish Catholic Archives, an agency of the Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland, is responsible for providing archive and records management services to the Church at national, diocesan and parish level. This section provides more information about the Archives.


Brief history of the Archives of the Catholic Church in Scotland 
Who we are, what we do 
How we operate 
Supporting us 


Following reformation in the 16th century, the archives of the Scottish Church were centred at the Scots College Paris. In the following three centuries, attempts were made to return the archives to Scotland. The Historic Collection, dating from 1177, is believed to be the largest body of pre and post reformation Scottish Catholic documentary history in the UK and Ireland.    The Historic Collection is now on long-term loan and can be consulted by researchers at the Special Collections Centre of the Sir Duncan Rice Library at the University of Aberdeen.   Nearby is the Blairs Museum, where historic items such as the Memorial Portrait of Mary Queen of Scots are exhibited.   Details of the museum's exhibition and opening arrangements can be found here.

The offices of the Scottish Catholic Archives are located in a Georgian townhouse, built in 1819, in the New Town of Edinburgh.   The property was purchased by the Bishops of Scotland in 1958, and named Columba House.   The name recollects Lord Colum Chrichton-Stuart, and also marks a long association with the Columba Trust.   Archives of the post-1878 dioceses of Aberdeen, Dunkeld, Argyll and the Isles, Galloway, Motherwell and the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh are located at Columba House where they can be consulted, by appointment, by researchers.  The year 1878 marked the restoration of a diocesan hierarchy to the Catholic Church in Scotland.


The Scottish Catholic Archives provides archive and records management services to the Scottish Catholic Church, including the Bishops' Conference of Scotland and its commissions and agencies,  dioceses, and parishes.   The Scottish Catholic Archives also assists the Scots Colleges in Salamanca and Rome.   Thousands of scholars from around the world have undertaken research in many different aspects of the history of the Catholic Church in Scotland.


The Scottish Catholic Archives responds to national and international standards to assist with the proper management of the collections, and maintains contact with other archival agences and bodies.


The services offered by the Scottish Catholic Archives through the Bishops' Conference of Scotland are provided free of charge. The Scottish Catholic Archives depend on the generosity of the Catholic population who give financial support through their dioceses and directly to agencies. If you would like to help with the costs of running the Scottish Catholic Archives your added generosity would be greatly appreciated. If you can help please contact us. Charity Number: SCO 16650

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