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unique and free resource for genealogists seeking to trace their Highland origins and looking for a possible vintage photograph of their ancestors. With thousands of portrait photographs of people spanning the early decades of the 20th Century, and with the ability to cross reference data with other users, the database enables Scottish expatriates and descendants the world over, who are interested in their family history, to search the archive for family matches and/or likeness. Searches can be made using any of the following

BETWEEN 1895 and 1980 the Andrew Paterson Studio accumulated well over 100,000 glass plate and film negatives, but they disappeared from the scene after Hector Paterson, who was initially going to destroy them, sold the archive to the German photographer Andreas von Einsiedel (, who required two vans to take them away. Scotland lost forever (as thought at the time) a vast archive of early photography. “The irony is that the only important Andrew

Paterson work left in Scotland is that film which he made in 1912,” wrote reporter Joe Mulholland in the Glasgow Herald. In the late 1990s the archive resurfaced but it was

broken up in 2001, with many scenic and military images being dispersed to other collections. The remaining bulk of the archive, consisting mostly of the portrait legacy of Andrew Paterson, was once again saved from destruction and put into deep storage until 2008, when the Scottish Highlander Photo Archive was founded to preserve the images, with the added intention of uploading them online for use by genealogists and family history researchers. 48

criteria: Full name, surname only, town name, street name, house name, subject or content using words like baby, wedding, bridal, uniform or kilt. There are many photographs of places, scenics, and

groups of people. These images can be filtered by simply entering an asterisk (*) into the search field. Similarly, all the unidentified images can be isolated by entering a cross-hatch (#). To see all the images currently online, identified and unidentified, enter a full stop (.) into the search field. The original log book is unavailable, and this has caused some difficulties in identifying who or what some of the images are of. But in most cases, all negatives are held in paper envelopes with a reference or code number written on the outside (and most also have at least the surname of the sitting individual, dates and/or address details). However, there are hundreds of photographs in the archive that have no reference at all, and we encourage people to contact us with any possible identification information, whether by commenting directly on the image website page or e-mailing us at


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