Welcome to the Scottish Catholic Archives, the National Archives of the Catholic Church in Scotland. 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
Friends of the Scottish Catholic Archives
Scottish Catholic Heritage Commission
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ARCHIVES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN SCOTLAND
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 Collections of the Church now gathered, dating from 1177, bring together the largest body of pre and post reformation Scottish Catholic documentary history in the UK and Ireland. Added to the Historic Collections are the Archives of the Dioceses of Aberdeen, Dunkeld, Argyll and the Isles, Galloway, Motherwell and the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh which bring the documentary heritage of the Church forward from 1878, when the Hierarchy was restored to Scotland.
Following the assembling of the archives by various key individuals in the Church, the Bishop's of Scotland decided to locate the Archives in 1958 in Edinburgh to ensure that the archives of the Church were made available alongside the National Archives of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland. This key relationship between the Church and the national collections continues to grow to this day.
The Scottish Catholic Archives are located in the heart of the New Town of Edinburgh, and based in an early nineteenth-century Georgian townhouse, the Scottish Catholic Archives contains over 500 linear meters of manuscripts and a research library of 10,000 non-manuscript items.
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
Since 1958, the Scottish Catholic Archives has provided an environment to store archives and make them available to researchers in a central location. Thousands of scholars from around the world have undertaken research in many different aspects of the history of the Catholic Church in Scotland.
In recent years, the Scottish Catholic Archives has adopted modern archival practices and now acts on an agency basis for the national administration and it's commissions and agencies; seven out of eight of the Scottish dioceses; the parishes of Scotland; the seminaries located in Salamanca, Spain and Rome, Italy; and provides support to the provincial teams of the English Province of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), the Helpers of the Holy Souls, and the Bishopric of the Forces, based in Aldershot.
HOW WE OPERATE
The Scottish Catholic Archives responds to national and international standards to assist with the proper management of the collections. In addition, the Bishops' Conference of Scotland approved a Management Policy in 2005.
Columba House has been the home of the Scottish Cathoic Archives since 1958. It is a corner pavilion block, built in 1819 in the second New Town of Edinburgh. It is hoped to provide a history of the house and occupiers over the last 190 years soon.
FRIENDS OF THE SCOTTISH CATHOLIC ARCHIVES
There is currently no formal 'friends' group of the Scottish Catholic Archives. If there is sufficient support, we may consider this - please get in touch if you are interested.
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
SCOTTISH CATHOLIC HERITAGE COMMISSION
The Scottish Catholic Heritage Commission advises the Bishops' Conference of Scotland in the preservation of all aspects of Scottish Catholic Heritage at home and abroad. Members of the Commission may log-in and access relevant meeting papers.