Urban Detectives

Help us build an accessible record of the history of Scotland's towns and cities.

Historic Environment Scotland collects, creates and cares for millions of photographs, maps, drawings and documents about buildings and landscapes. This national record reveals the ever-changing face of Scotland from prehistory to the present day.

Scotland’s Urban Past (SUP) wants to make the stories of these places even more accessible via the web – and that’s how you can help.


About Urban Detectives

Urban Detectives are members of the public who contribute information, photographs and locations of places in Scotland’s towns and cities to our website.

These contributions become part of Canmore, the nation’s online record of architecture, archaeology and industry.

Anyone can become an Urban Detective by registering on our website.

Once registered, you can:

All contributions are added to the National Record of the Historic Environment under Creative Commons 4.0. This means that copyright remains with the creator and no one can use your contributions for commercial purposes without your permission. Anyone is able to share or adapt the image or information contributed to the archive, but must always give credit to the creator.

Training for Urban Detectives

Our free resources and step-by-step guides help Urban Detectives learn how to investigate and record our urban heritage.

We also run free training workshops across the country for face-to-face tuition. See our events listings for the next workshop near you.

Questions or comments? Explore our FAQs or contact us at sup@hes.scot.


Expert Urban Detectives

Expert Urban Detectives produce thorough and full site records of places in Scotland's towns and cities as part of their SUP projects.

After receiving hands-on training, Expert Urban Detectives gain access to an advanced contribution system, allowing them to add information to existing records or add new records. Contributions can reach a higher level of detail by uploading entire reports and surveys.

Latest images from Urban Detectives

Latest text and comments from Urban Detectives

You need to be logged in to share a story about this place