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The Trust's organisational archives are intrinsic to its history. They reflect its development from its foundation as a small, fledgling organisation in 1931 to its current status as a major national conservation organisation with over 300,000 members. The main body of these archives are held primarily in the Trust's Central Office in Edinburgh and there are many elements within it. By far the largest subset of institutional archives is the collection of administration and correspondence files relating to NTS properties. This collection amounts approximately to 2,000 or so boxes, each containing on average 6-8 files. Ordinarily the files consist of letters, minutes of meetings, drawings, and many other documents which detail the acquisition and subsequent management of each property.

These files encompass many topics and have all been catalogued although the summaries of the contents of each one is by necessity an ongoing project due to the sheer volume of archive files. Because of this they are a splendid resource for researchers into the history of Trust properties and this research has informed many publications.

Within these files one can find the odd archival gem including the letter below written in 1959 to the then Trust Chairman, the Earl of Wemyss, and signed by President Eisenhower after his stay at Culzean.

Other examples of the Trust's organisational archives are the minute files of the Trust's governance committees dating back to just before the Trust's foundation, various property project files and publications such as annual reports, yearbooks, guidebooks. This collection of archival material is another valuable source of historical interest and information about the NTS. Some of the early guidebooks are of great fascination. The examples here are from Falkland palace in the late 1950s and the 1966 Hugh Miller's Cottage guidebook, both of which have these marvellous woodcut impressions created for the Trust by George Mackie.