Unlocking Aberdeen's archives to interrogate medieval law


Description of impact

Led by Dr Jackson Armstrong, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, together with Dr Andrew Mackillop who is now a Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, the Aberdeen Burgh Records Project was established initially as a collaboration between the University, the Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives (ACAA) and the National Records of Scotland (NRS), building on digitised images of the earliest council registers created in cooperation between the ACAA and NRS.

Project summary and aims

New historical research can help us to understand the inner workings of the towns and cities of medieval Scotland. Whilst urban archives can offer a glimpse into life hundreds of years ago, these fragile records have often been lost or destroyed over the centuries by threats of fire, flood and infestation.

But fortunately for Aberdeen, a huge number of council registers from as early as 1398 have been preserved and are held by the Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives. In 2012, a collaborative project was launched to investigate the records as a way of better understanding how law was used in the middle ages, and to examine the political, socioeconomic and cultural issues of these times

Outcomes to Date / Future Developments

Impact statusImpact Completed (Open)
Impact date2012


  • Social inclusion and cultural diversity