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Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017

Find out how your museum can get involved in Scotland's yearlong celebration, led by VisitScotland.


2017 has been designated the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, a year that will celebrate Scotland’s unique history and heritage with a programme of activity aimed at supporting and driving the nation’s tourism and events sector.

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology runs for the full calendar year, from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017 and will build on the momentum generated by the current 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014.
Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will highlight and celebrate both our tangible and intangible heritage – our buildings, visitor attractions, archaeological sites as well as our diverse stories, traditions and culture – all with a focus on engagement and participation.

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by partners including:



The aims of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology are:

  • Promotion: Raise the profile of Scotland, showcasing our distinctive history, heritage and archaeology with a co-ordinated marketing and communications programme.
  • Celebrate: Encourage and develop opportunities for the celebration of the key themes of the year within the tourism and events sectors.
  • Participate: Inspire the people of Scotland and our visitors to participate in activity developed for the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, with particular emphasis on attracting new audiences and spreading engagement across the country.
  • Collaborate: Encourage collaborative working between the sectors represented by Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology themes and wider tourism sector.
  • Business Engagement: Encourage tourism businesses and the wider business community to engage with the year and capitalise on opportunities by developing new products and services, and growing existing business.

How can museums get involved?

Museums Galleries Scotland are encouraging all of Scotland’s museums to get involved in the celebration. The work of Scotland’s museums aligns perfectly with the theme for the year, we just all need to shout about it.

One way to do this is to take part in Festival of Museums, which is already signed up to the Partner Programme. 2017’s Festival of Museums takes place from Friday 19 - Sunday 21 May. You can register your events here.

For this year’s Festival of Museums, we’re delighted to be working with Dig It! 2017, so if you want to add a bit of archaeology to your events but don’t know where to start, they can help develop ideas, find funding sources and develop partnerships. The Dig It! 2017 team works with organisations across Scotland from a range of sectors and they are always happy to chat about archaeology. If you would like to know more, please contact  

But it’s not all about Festival of Museums: if you’re planning any other events throughout 2017, make sure you register your event with the Partner Programme and take advantage of that additional attention that will be focussed on our sector for 2017.

Partner Programme

The Partner Programme is an opportunity to align your event with the year and benefit from potential inclusion in VisitScotland promotional activity. It’s quick and easy to sign up using a digital form. You can sign up at and VisitScotland will get in touch with you.

Funding Support

The Heritage Lottery Fund is offering grants of £3,000 to £10,000 to projects that engage a new and wider range of people with their history through their Stories, Stones and Bones Fund. For more information on Stories, Stones and Bones visit

A list of other potential funding routes, including EventScotland funding opportunities, can be found at

Please note that the Festival of Museums Fund is now closed.


A 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology Toolkit featuring the logo, free-to-use images and promotional wording is available from

The official logo has been designed to provide a cohesive, overarching brand for the year. The logo suite and brand guidelines can be downloaded from

If you’re on twitter, make sure to join the conversation using the hashtag #HHA2017

Further reading

If you would like to find out more about the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, VisitScotland have much more extensive information available on their website,