The Archives

The Argyll Papers: the estate and family archive of the earls and dukes of Argyll

The archive collection at Inveraray Castle records the lives and activities of the earls and dukes and their families, their involvement in political and historical events, and the management of their extensive estates in Argyll and across Scotland.

Visiting the Archives

His Grace the Duke of Argyll is happy to make his archive available to visitors and researchers from all over the world, who are interested in the history of his family or investigating family and local history, Gaelic and Celtic studies, military, political, economic and social history, agriculture and industry, architecture and more.

To book a visit or tour, please email:

Individual Research

The research room is open to researchers by appointment.

Please provide at least 4 weeks advance notice of your intended visit, providing information about your research topic and what you are hoping to discover.  The archivist will advise whether there are records to assist your research and of any potential difficulties in accessing them eg. poor physical condition, language or handwriting.

The archivist will confirm with you by email whether the proposed date(s) are possible.

Please note that all researchers must be 18 years of age or older. If you are lucky enough to be younger than 18, you will need to bring a responsible adult with you. 

Group Research

Group visits are available to the general public, special interest groups, students and schools. It is also possible to deliver a talk or 'virtual visit' using Zoom or other platform.

  • Interactive workshops on a pre-selected topic (skills or subject based) are available for groups up to a maximum of 10.
  • 'Walk and talk' tours of the archive are available for a maximum of 5 people. During the tour of the stores, the archivist will talk about the history of the archive and the family. 
  • An 'introduction to the archive' can be booked for groups of up to 12 participants, including an introductory presentation, a 'walk through' the stores (no handling) and a small exhibition of documents on a chosen topic.

Fees and Charges

We charge a fee for both private research and group visits to provide a small income stream to assist with meeting the costs of preserving and maintaining the archive.

Individual Research

We charge a fee of £15 (excluding VAT if applicable) per day (or part of a day) to undertake research in the archive.  This fee covers access to the original records or copies thereof (depending on their condition and availability), as well as preparation, assistance and guidance from the archivist.

There are separate fees for self-service photography or the provision of high resolution images.

If you are unable to afford the research fee, please get in touch with the archivist as it may be possible to come to some mutually acceptable arrangement.

Group Research

'Walk and Talk' tours for groups of a maximum of 5 people are charged @ £10 per person. 

'Workshops' (maximum of 10 people) or 'introduction to the archive' (maximum of 12 people) are charged @ £100 preparation fee plus £5 per person. If your group includes more than the maximum 10/12 people, please consider splitting the group, with half visiting the Castle or grounds while half visit the archive and then swapping over. For a split group, the preparation fee would remain £100 to cover both halves of the group, with the appropriate per person fee.

All charges are exclusive of VAT if applicable.