Resources

All Scotland's Urban Past resources are available for you to download and use in your heritage projects, wherever you’re based.

We've compiled free resources to help you investigate how Scotland's towns and cities have changed over time.

New content is always being added, so keep an eye on this page for updates or sign up to our eNewsletter to be the first to hear about newly added resources.

Step into the shoes (or should that be boots?) of an urban archaeologist with the Scotland's Urban Past Monument Recording Sheet.
If you would like to use Urban Detectives with your class or youth group this guide will help you build your project.
This guide offers advice on creating the best photographs you can, whether you are using your phone, a compact camera or a DSLR camera to record the buildings and urban landscape in your town or city.
This guide outlines the process of identifying hazards you may encounter when investigating the history of Scotland’s towns and cities, and how to keep yourself and others safe.
This guide outlines some of the hazards you may encounter when investigating the history of Scotland’s towns and cities, and how you can best avoid them.
Visiting a site or building is an essential part of researching and recording towns and cities. Even if you already know the site or building well, it is always worth taking a fresh look.
Do you know of an interesting building that you would like to see added to the National Record of the Historic Environment? You can suggest a site on the Scotland's Urban Past website.
Do you have an image of one of our sites? You can add it to make our record of the historic environment more accessible.
How to start researching and recording Scotland’s towns and cities for future generations.
This step-by-step guide explains how you can add information and memories about places in Scotland's towns and cities.
Urban Detectives classify Scottish sites in our archive. With this guide, you can help us classify sites like churches, schools, factories, parks and other types of structure or space.
Our guidance notes have been prepared to help persons with no previous, or only limited, experience of recording buildings to undertake a basic survey of a building.
This section will introduce you to the process of graphically recording buildings and architectural detail.
Before beginning a survey with the view to creating a survey drawing you will need to decide what the key elements of a structure are and how best to depict them; the level of detail you can show will depend on the scale of the drawing.
There are a number of readily available options for the surveyor/draughtsman when it comes to media and materials for creating a survey drawing. Similarly there are particular techniques and symbols that can be applied to lend your drawing clarity. Some of these options are covered in the section b ...
Each of the methods outlined here can provide a very useful record in its own right. However, often the most effective way to survey a site is to use a combination of the different methods.
This method involves establishing a ‘primary baseline’ parallel to and/or through the features you want to record, and measuring the distance to the features from this known line.
Creating a scaled elevation drawing is a fairly straightforward way of adding a third, vertical dimension to the drawn record of your site. Creating a section drawing shares many of the 
points covered for elevations and plans and work well in conjunction.
Plane table surveying is a very effective way of getting to grips with all the basic rules of survey to record angles and distances. Modern digital technological instruments are designed and constructed on these same fundamental principles. Plane table surveying is best carried out by a minimum of t ...
A downloadable version of all our resources about recording buildings.
Here you will find a series of online resources to help you get started with your research.