The design and contents of heritage guides have changed markedly over the last three decades. This post is aimed at showing the development of site guides in the post Second World War period. Visitors to sites could use the Illustrated Guide to Scotland with individual entries on sites.
The Ministry of Works Guides, such as the one for Jarlshof followed a format developed in the 1920s and 1930s.
They were succeeded by the MPBW ‘blue guides’. These tended to use an image associated with the site.
In the 1970s the HMSO produced a series of guides, including the foldout plan for the Antonine Wall.
The official HMSO guides for sites in Scotland adopted a paler blue for the covers than their counterparts in England and Wales.
In the 1980s there was a move towards a card covered guide. This one for St Andrews Castle was published by HMSO for the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Scottish Development Department.
More colourful covers were developed in the 1990s with Historic Scotland.Some of the more popular sites were given souvenir guides.
This format continued into the 2000s.
A distinctive style was then adopted for the official souvenir guides that ranged from small booklets, to large format guides (such as Iona), as well as short leaflets.