Public Catalogue Foundation

Uncovering Scotland's Art Collection -
Putting Scotland's Publicly-Owned Oil Paintings Online


The ASF is pleased to be partnering with The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF), a British charity which is cataloguing the 30,000 publicly-owned oil paintings in Scotland, raising awareness and funding in the United States for this important and unique project as part of the ASF's Heritage and Preservation inititatives. 

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Click above for the latest newsletter from PCF.

Pentland Hills from Kingsknowe, Winter
1947, City of Edinburgh Council
By Edwin George Lucas
University of Aberdeen
By John Duncan Fergusson


The objective behind the PCF's cataloguing project is to improve access to these paintings, 80% of which are not on show to the public. These paintings are dispersed across Scotland in museums, galleries, universities as well as in hospitals, fire stations and even lighthouses.

Cecilia, No.2
1912, University of Dundee Fine Art Coll.
By Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell
Edinburgh's Playground
1905, City of Edinburgh Council
By James Paterson

The PCF is over a third of the way through this project.  All the paintings catalogued will be showcased on a vibrant and highly searchable website showing the entire national collection of oil paintings in Scotland alongside those from across the United Kingdom.

This website, called Your Paintings, is free to view and is hosted on - the most popular British website in the world. The website features a range of applications that allow users to browse all the paintings, learn about the paintings, explore related BBC audio-visual content, plan days out, and make suggestions for missing information.  The PCF also hopes to print 14 illustrated hardback catalogues covering collection in Scotland.

Furthermore, the PCF plans to focus on online publishing following the successful summer launch with the BBC. However, the PCF’s widely admired printed catalogues will continue to be published in a separate division under the direction of PCF founder Fred Hohler, who becomes an Honorary Trustee following the appointment of Charles Gregson, Chairman of ICAP, as the PCF's new Chairman. Read more here in this press release of October 12, 2011....


Waiting for the Tide
City of Edinburgh Council
By Sylvia McArtney
Joseph Johnston Lee (1876-1949)
University of Dundee Fine Art Coll.
Henry Young Alison

Your Paintings will raise the global profile of works by Scottish artists, paintings of Scottish history and topography, and the paintings in Scottish collections. A key objective of the website is to send web traffic to the participating collections' own websites and to increase visitor numbers to the collections. In brief, Your Paintings plays a major role in highlighting the treasure trove of art in Scotland that is both on view and out of sight.  The PCF launched the Your Paintings website this summer with just under 75,000 paintings. The PCF aims to have catalogued the entire UK by the end of 2012 and have all 200,000 oil paintings online on The result will be a unique learning resource, unparalleled elsewhere in the world.


PCF Coordinators working at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Download press releases dated December 14, 2011 detailing progress:

Your Paintings - Aberdeen

Your Paintings - Dundee

Your Paintings - Edinburgh

Your Paintings - National Release

Photography at the National Trust for Scotland

20 May 2011

Photography on the National Trust for Scotland Catalogue is well under way. The National Trust for Scotland is Scotland’s largest conservation charity, encompassing not only historic castles, houses and gardens, but also historic sites, islands, historic burghs, heritage sites and nature reserves. Several of Scotland’s most significant and well-known castles are run by the National Trust for Scotland, including Robert Adam’s architectural masterpiece, Culzean Castle in Ayrshire and Falkland Palace in Fife, where Mary Queen of Scots spent some of her childhood.

The picturesque Drum Castle was chosen as the first property to be visited by the PCF. It comprises a mélange of architectural styles, from the mediaeval tower, to a Jacobean mansion and several later Victorian additions, and like the architectural styles of the castle, the paintings collected by the Irvine family over the years are diverse. Works range from a portrait collection, encompassing works from the 17th century to the 20th century, highlights of which include several works by Sir Henry Raeburn (1756–1823), and a bust-length copy after Sir Anthony van Dyck’s Portrait of Charles I in Armour. In addition to portraits, Drum Castle boasts an impressive breadth of landscapes, including a view of Stirling Castle by Alexander Nasmyth (1758–1840).

Several other properties have since been photographed, including one of the largest collections, Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran where almost 150 paintings were photographed in two days. Photography at Drum Castle was completed in one day – a testament to the meticulous collaboration between the PCF and the National Trust for Scotland.

Laura Walters
Lead PCF Coordinator – National Trust for Scotland & PCF Coordinator Central Scotland & Fife