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Scottish history preserved through Britain From Above website

28 June 2012

Scottish history preserved through Britain From Above website

Britain From Above is a new website featuring more than 5,000 images of 20th-century Scotland.

Britain From Above, a new website launched on 25 June 2012, features more than 5,000 images of Scotland which are part of the Aerofilms Collection of images from 1919 to 2006. Members of the public are being invited to share their local stories of the featured aerial images, and to help identify the location of a number of 'mystery' images which the experts have been unable to pinpoint.

Among the highlights on the website are a shot showing crowds watching the first voyage of the RMS Queen Mary in 1936, the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire in 1932, and spectacular Highland scenery in the Strathconon Forest in 1950.

Many of the plate glass negatives and photographic prints in the Aerofilms Collection had been in danger of being lost forever but have now been painstakingly conserved and catalogued, with digitisation taking place on an ongoing basis.

Rebecca Bailey, Head of Education and Outreach at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), said: 'The history of Aerofilms is inextricably linked to the history of modern Britain. The original pilots and photographers were veterans of the First World War, and they brought specialist skills learned in the conflict to the task of capturing the nation from the air.

 'Between 1919 and 1953, there was vast and rapid change to the social, architectural and industrial fabric of Britain, and Aerofilms provides a unique and at times unparalleled perspective on this upheaval. We hope that people today will be able to immerse themselves in the past through the new website, adding their own thoughts and memories to this remarkable collection.'

The Britain From Above website allows visitors to download images free of charge, customise their own themed photo galleries and share personal memories.

Keep up to date with the latest history news, discoveries and research in every issue of History Scotland and Scottish Memories.

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Last Updated: 10th May 2012