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A Recognised Collection of National Importance

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Collections and research resources

Since the early 1980's we've assembled a large and varied museum collection that illustrates many aspects of the shale oil industry in Scotland. The collection ranges in scale from large items of machinery to individual paper documents, and records both the activities of the oil companies and the everyday life of the communities that served to industry

The museum is also custodian of the "BP Archive", containing the surviving official records of those Scottish shale oil companies that became part of the BP group of companies. Such documents relate mainly to legal and technical matters, but are nevertheless a unique primary source for research.

Materials that have been lent to the museum for copying, published works, research notes, and other library items are held in a separate collection and offer a valuable resource to support research.

The catalogue of all three collections are published on this website, and many search results are linked to digital copies of these resources which can be downloaded.

Searchable Catalogues

Museum collection

Search for museum objects and archives in our collection.

BP archive

Search the surviving official records of the Scottish shale oil companies

Reference material

Search copy documents and images held by the museum.


Other Research Resources

Resources elsewhere in this website that may assist in your research:

Collections Survey

A catalogue of objects and archives from the shale oil industry held by other museums and archives.


Contemporary accounts of the shale oil industry, including guidebooks published by oil companies.

Short Accounts

Research and descriptions of aspects of the history of the industry, written for this website.


References and descriptions of the geology of the shale fields and of the rocks and fossils found there.


Accounts of the technology associated with retorting, refining and mining processes


A list of local and technical terms employed in the shale oil industry and their meanings


Transcripts of newspapers describing court cases, disasters and other noteworthy events


On-line presentation of exhibitions, displays and work displayed within the oil shale museum

Schools Resources

Classroom resources on working life in the industry supporting the Curriculum for excellence

creative commons

We are happy to licence use of many images, extracts, and other resources of this website under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial licence (Scotland). See full copyright statement. Such material should be attributed to Almond Valley Heritage Trust and, where practical, a hyperlink provided to www.scottishshale.co.uk.