Welcome to

Friends of the Argyll Papers

The family and estate archives of the Campbell Family, earls and dukes of Argyll.


Donate to Friends of the Argyll Papers


The Friends of the Argyll Papers was established to support the development of the family and estate archive of the Campbell family, dukes of Argyll, and to promote its use and enjoyment by a wide audience.

The Archives
The Argyll Papers have been described as one of the most important private archives in Britain (Professor Allan Macinnes, 2014). It is a rich resource for Scottish and British history from the thirteenth to the twenty-first centuries and attracts visitors from all over the world, researching a wide range of subjects including family and local history, Gaelic studies, place names, military history, political history, economic and social history, agriculture and industry, architecture and more.

The Argyll Papers are the family and estate archive of the Duke of Argyll. Dating from the 13th century, the archive records 700 years of the family’s participation in Scottish, British and international events, their private lives and interests and the management of their extensive estates.

The Argyll estates covered most of Argyllshire, including the islands of Tiree, Iona and Mull, as well as the Lordship of Campbell in Clackmannanshire, Stirling and Fife.

Most of the people living on the Argyll estates were not Campbells: many other Highland names appear in the records for Argyll and the islands, and lowland names predominate in the records of the Lordship of Campbell in central Scotland.

It is the records of the management of the estates, dating from the late 18th century, which are most useful for family history research.  

The estate records detail:

  • the people living on the land and their families (estate censuses, rentals);
  • how and where they lived and worked (estate surveys, petitions and memorials, correspondence, reports, accounts);
  • and give details of their houses and occupations (surveys, building plans).

Become a Friend

Do you have Campbell ancestry and want to help preserve your family archive? Are you interested in history and opportunities to connect with like-minded people? Have you used the Argyll Papers and wish to support the archivist’s and volunteers’ work? Whatever your reason for joining, by becoming a Friend you will help to secure the future of this very special archive and become part of a friendly, interesting and dedicated group of people.

Benefits of Membership

  • A regular newsletter with contributions from Friends, volunteers and researchers
  • Volunteering opportunities – see our Volunteering page for details
  • Social and educational events – see Events page for details
  • Sharing your interests and knowledge with others
  • 20% discount for Inveraray Castle admissions, tea-room and shop

Caring for an archive of this size and importance, and making it available to researchers, is an enormous responsibility which is both costly and time-consuming. The archive does not receive any public funding, but Friends’ memberships and donations provide a valuable small regular income which contributes towards collection care and improvements to the research facilities. The Friends also support volunteering opportunities in the archive and fund-raising initiatives to help with conservation and cataloguing. You can find out more about what we do and how you can get involved by following the links on our website.

Support the preservation of this amazing archive, become a Friend of the Argyll Papers.

Friends’ News

Palaeography Group Online Workshop

Monday 22nd July 2024 – 6.00pm.

Alison Diamond (Archivist)

Seminar series 2024/25.

The Friends of the Argyll Papers are delighted to introduce a series of online seminars informed by research undertaken in the archive, to take place on Zoom. All seminars are scheduled for a Friday, at various start times to allow Friends around the world to participate.

Friday 4th October – 2.30pm
Ronnie Black
John Dewar’s Diary:
Keeping shop and making Stobs in Roseneath, 1844-52

Seminars will be delivered on the Zoom platform and will include a 45 minute presentation followed by 15 mins for Q & A.

Attendance at the Sessions is free for Friends. Non-members are welcome to attend and are invited to donate £5 per seminar to the Friends at Donate to Friends of the Argyll Papers (enthuse.com) before emailing to book a place.

Everyone who wishes to attend needs to book a place for the sessions by emailing: friendsoftheargyllpapers@gmail.com

For information on past seminars, please visit the Cache Page

Everyone who wishes to attend needs to book a place for the sessions by emailing: friendsoftheargyllpapers@gmail.com

For the full story click on the LINK


Welcome to the Archives by the Duke of Argyll

Using the archive

The Argyll Papers are open to individual researchers and for group visits and tours. We support genealogical, local history and academic research. Please book an appointment to visit. We offer school visits, resources, internships, and work experience placements.

For information about accessing the archives, please click on the image.

For more information about the contents of the archive see the Collection Description.

Venues On View of Museum

The latest exhibitions across our diffrent locations. Have fun together in the Museum.

   Updated 17/07/2024

© Friends of the Argyll Papers 2022
Friends of the Argyll Papers is a Scottish Charity SC045835