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Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS)
Street address: John Sinclair House, 16 Bernard Terrace, Edinburgh EH8 9NX, Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: 44 (0) 131 662 1456
Fax: 44 (0) 131 662 1477, 44 (0) 131 662 1499
Proprietor: Scottish Government
Contact: Roger Mercer Chief Executive
RCAHMSThe Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) is responsible for recording, interpreting and collecting information about the built environment. This information, which relates to buildings, sites, and ancient monuments of archaeological, architectural and historical interest (including maritime sites and underwater constructions) is then made freely available to the public.
RCAHMS was established by a Royal Warrant of 1908 which was revised in 1992. It is now an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) which receives annual funding from the Scottish Government. RCAHMS is overseen by a Chairman and nine Commissioners.
The RCAHMS mission statement requires it: (i) to survey and record the historic environment of Scotland; (ii) to compile and maintain a public record of the archaeological, architectural and historical environment; and (iii) to promote an understanding of this information by all appropriate means.
The Commission maintains the National Monuments Record of Scotland (NMRS), an index to archaeological information in Scotland which can be consulted at the RCAHMS offices or online through a number of searchable databases which can be accessed via quicklinks at the RCAHMAS homepage:
The NMRS Canmore database contains details of over 250,000 archaeological sites, monuments, buildings and maritime sites in Scotland, together with an index to the drawings, manuscripts and photographs in the RCAHMS collections. Images of some of the photographs or drawings in the collection are also available in Canmore. It is possible to search for information by name, location, site type or collection or search using the Canmore mapping service.
PASTMAP is a separate website, produced jointly by Historic Scotland and RCAHMS which brings together the databases Scheduled Ancient Monuments of Scotland; National Monuments Record of Scotland; Scotland Sites and Monuments Records; and Gardens and Designed Landscapes.
AirPhotoFinder is an application hosted by RCAHMS to help you to locate and order vertical Aerial Photography in Scotland.
HLAMAP provides access to information gathered by the Historic Land-use Assessment Project (HLA), a joint project with Historic Scotland.
The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), which came to power following the Scottish Parliamentary Elections of 6 May 2007, pledged in its manifesto to reduce duplication by merging RCAHMS with Historic Scotland.
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The Scotland Cultural Profile was created in partnership with the Scottish Government and the British Council Scotland
Date updated: 9 January 2008
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