Aberlour Archives

Birds-eye view of a series of documents about Aberlour Orphanage.

Items from the Aberlour Children’s Charity Archive, University of Stirling Archives.

In August 2022, the University of Stirling Archives was awarded a grant of £26,954 from the Archives Revealed programme to catalogue the archives of Aberlour Children’s Charity. The archive preserves a detailed record of almost 150 years of the charity’s work caring for children across Scotland. The charity operated a large orphanage in the village of Aberlour from 1875 to 1967, when the focus of the care provided moved to smaller residential group homes. The cataloguing project is part of a wider collaboration between the University and Aberlour, to open up access to their archives for the care-experienced and to support research to improve record-keeping across the care sector.

A Scoping Grant awarded to Aberlour Children’s Charity by Archives Revealed in July 2020 highlighted the value and extent of their historical records. This led to the transfer of Aberlour’s archives to the University of Stirling Archives, which began in the summer of 2021. In January 2023, work began on the Archives Revealed cataloguing project, which has produced a comprehensive online catalogue of the collection. The publicity surrounding the project has also led to the donation of additional material from former residents of the orphanage, which provides further insights into lives spent in care.

A series of three images with text, from left to right: 1. a series of archive boxes on shelves. Image text: 'the archive reboxed and catalogued'. 2. Overhead view of a collection of brown paper files. Image text: 'how the case files arrived...'. 3. An archive box with filed documents inside. Image text: '...now repacked in archive boxes'.

Cataloguing process at the Aberlour Children’s Charity Archive, University of Stirling Archives.

“For me, the most valuable component on this project was being able to catalogue and repack over 2,500 case files of former residents, covering children who were admitted to the orphanage between 1893 and 1922. Through this project, we have been able to provide a voice to the children of Aberlour and guarantee that their experiences are no longer silent or at risk of being forgotten, but instead can be heard, retold, and inform us for many years to come.”


Jennifer Roach, Project Archivist

Find out more about Aberlour Children’s Charity, , view the online catalogue of the collection and read about donations from former residents.