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Archives and Special Collections: Aberlour Children's Charity

Collection information

Collection: Aberlour Children's Charity

Collection Ref.: GB 0559 ACCT

Administrative History:

In 1875 Canon Charles Jupp, a clergyman in the Scottish Episcopalian Church, founded an orphanage in the village of Aberlour. By 1885 the orphanage could accommodate up to 100 children, originally from Episcopalian families but subsequently from across all religious denominations. Whilst at the Orphanage, children were given an education and training for future employment with girls generally going into domestic service, and boys going into apprenticeships or farm work. Those who showed strong academic skills were put forward for further education.  

The Orphanage closed in 1967 and was replaced with a series small ‘family group’ homes located across Scotland. The original home was demolished. Today all that remains of the original buildings is the clock tower and the church. Aberlour has grown to be the largest solely Scottish children’s charity, providing support and resources for vulnerable children, young people, and their families. (A detailed administrative history of Aberlour is provided in the online catalogue.)  


The Aberlour Archive consists of records relating to Aberlour Orphanage (1875-1967), and material concerning the establishment and operation of family group homes following the closure of the orphanage.

Catalogue information

The collection is fully catalogued with full details available on our online archive catalogue.

The cataloguing of the collection was made possible through the ‘Archives Revealed‘ funding scheme, which was jointly awarded by The National ArchivesThe Pilgrim Trust, and The Wolfson Foundation in 2021. This funding scheme is for archive services to make significant collections accessible that otherwise would be difficult to catalogue using existing resources.

The catalogue provides access to digitised copies of a range of publications produced by Aberlour including a selection of issues of the Aberlour Orphanage Magazine.

Additional collection information

Custodial history: The collection was transferred to the University of Stirling Archives by Aberlour Children's Charity in June 2021.

Access conditions: Records containing personal information relating to the care of children are closed. If you have personal experience of being looked after by Aberlour and wish to access personal case records please contact Aberlour directly. For further information on access restrictions and use of the collection please contact the University Archives.

Content warning:

This collection contains references and language relating to disabilities and mental health, reflecting attitudes of the period in which it was created. Such views are no longer acceptable and will be upsetting to some researchers. They do not align with the University of Stirling, nor of Aberlour Childrens Charity. The collection also contains references to abuse towards children having taken place. Content warnings have been put in place in the catalogue to notify users of language and terms within the records which will cause offense and that can be upsetting to read. We are aware that some references may have been missed during the cataloguing of the collection. Please make staff of the University Archives aware of any material consulted containing offensive references not previously disclosed.


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ARCH Project

Archiving Residential Children's Homes is a major three year project at the Universities of Stirling and Osnabruck. It aims to explore and improve how the everyday group care experiences of children and young people in residential care are captured and preserved. Further details available on the ARCH project website.

Using the collection

Archives Reading Room

Opening Hours:

10 am - 1 pm / 2 pm - 4 pm

Monday - Friday

Contact us:

Tel. 01786 466619


Please note current service update (August 2022)