Patricia Whatley

+44(0)1382 384095
Snr Lecturer in History & Archival Studies, and Director of CAIS


Dr Patricia Whatley has an honours degree in history from the University of Strathclyde and a PhD from the University of Dundee and is a registered archivist. She is Senior Lecturer in History and Archival Studies, and Director of the Centre for Archive and Information Studies (CAIS). Her main research interest is the Social History of Medicine of Scotland and in particular the Scottish Highlands and other remote parts of the world. Key areas of interest include the history of domiciliary nursing and general practice, the Scottish Poor Law, maternal and infant mortality and the development of government health policy. She also maintains an interest in ethical issues relating to archives and information management.

She leads, with colleagues in Culture & Information, a Royal Society of Edinburgh initiated project on Memory and Identity, which has held four international conferences since 2008. She has developed (with Forman & Partners) a public engagement programme to promote a major photographic collection, The Peto Collection, held in the University of Dundee Archives. Major exhibitions and events have been arranged in Liverpool, London, New York, Ireland and throughout Scotland ( The Programme is supported by its Patron, actor and University Rector, Brian Cox.

Professional Membership and Activities

  • Chair of the Economic and Social History Society of Scotland
  • Trustee of the Scottish Historical Review Trust
  • Member of the Section Bureau of the International Council on Archives Section for Archival Education
  • Former Vice Chair of the Scottish Council on Archives
  • Former Secretary of the International Council on Archives Section on University and Research Institutions

Former member of the AHRC Peer Review College and Research Panel C.

Teaching and Research

I am a historian of the Highlands from the Nineteenth Century, focusing on aspects of the Social History of Medicine and the Scottish Poor Law from 1843. I teach on the courses below and I am responsible for the Masters dissertation and doctoral programme within the Centre for Archive and Information Services (CAIS)

Applications are welcomed for doctoral study within the Memory and Identity project and any other appropriate area within Archives and Information Management.

I would also be interested to hear from potential doctoral students and academics looking to pursue research in aspects of that including:

  •  The history of district nursing and general practice in rural areas
  • Maternal and infant mortality
  • The development of government health policy and administration
  • The Scottish Poor Law


HY42058 The Scottish Highlands: Health, Politics and Society 1750-1948 (module leader)

HY52026 Health, Politics & Society in the Scottish Highlands 1840-1945 - Distance learning master’s module (module leader)

HY51030 Interpretations of Scottish History

HY22006 Scotland and the Wider World 

RM50023 Dissertation and Research Proposal, Centre for Archive and Information Studies (module leader)


2015 ‘A full State medical service’: the development of Medical Services in the Highlands and Islands, 1845-1936 in Dr Grant of Ballachullish, eds., E. Cameron & A.M. Tindley, Birlinn, 2015.
2014 ‘Scottish Catholic Archives: Looking to the Future’ Scottish Archives, Vol. 19, 2013.
2014 ‘Caring for the poor in twentieth-century Scotland’. Report of a Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland/Glasgow Caledonian University workshop, Glasgow, September 2014. Available on line at
2013 (with C.A. McKean) Lost Dundee, Birlinn, Edinburgh, Second edition.
2012 ‘Archival Education: the CAIS perspective’, Scottish Archives, Vol.18, 2012.
2011 Co-editor (with C. Brown) International Council on Archives European Competencies Framework for Archives, 2011.
2009 Guest Editor (with C Brown) The Philosophy of the Archive, Archival Science, Volume 9, nos. 3 and 4, December 2009. (Special edition based on a CAIS international Memory and Identity conference.)
2009 P. Whatley & C Brown, ‘Along and against the grain: the philosophy of the archive’ in Archival Science, Volume 9, nos. 3 and 4, December 2009.
2008 (with Charles McKean) Lost Dundee, Birlinn, Edinburgh
2005 &squo;Challenges and Experiences in the long-term preservation of Digitised Architectural Images’, Proceedings of the 1st International Congress on Architectural Archives, University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Spain.
2003 ‘Scotland’s architectural development online’, Art Libraries Journal, Volume 28, No 3, 2003.
2001 ‘The Drawn Evidence: The Digitisation of Architectural Drawings’, Journal of the Society of Archivists, Volume 22, No 1, 2001.
2001 ‘Image creation and digitisation strategies’, The Imaging Science Journal (with N. Reid), Vol.49, No 1, 2001.
2000 ‘The Appraisal and Selection of Architectural Drawings in a National Context: Scotland’s Drawn Evidence’, Proceedings of ICAM 10 (International Congress of Architectural Museums), Centro de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro.