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The J S Bone Collection

Jim Bone's aerial photographs are all now on Canmore. Details of each of them are on this downloadable spreadsheet, which contains links for each photograph to both the Canmore site and Google Earth. A How To... guide on how to search the spreadsheet can be found here. A NOSAS book of some of the most interesting of the photos is here.

Jim Bone was a founder member of NOSAS in 1998, a keen archaeologist, an agricultural adviser, a pilot and a calm, quiet man. Bringing all those together provided a unique collection of aerial photographs of the North of Scotland spanning 55 years. 

Just before his death in June 2018 he gifted his entire archive collection of photographs to NOSAS. These were in the form of slides, prints, negatives and the digital images on his computer. Some of the prints were in albums, some of the negatives had corresponding prints, many of the digital images were duplicated in a complicated folder structure on his computer. Sorting this mass of material into some order was undertaken by Jonathan Wordsworth and Roland Spencer-Jones of NOSAS. 

The images were handled by a dedicated team of NOSAS volunteers. Once they were sorted, duplicate copies eliminated, prints temporarily removed from albums and a parallel set of images in the care of Highland Council similarly assimilated, the next stage was to provide a digital copy of each image. The scanning involved was taken on by Canmore in Historic Environment Scotland. The scanned images (for the negatives, slides and prints) were returned to NOSAS in Spring 2020. 

All the images had been analysed by end March 2021 after fifteen months of work. The end result of the work done by NOSAS was a data set for each photo on the spreadsheet, which included:

  • a grid reference for the centre of each image
  • Canmore and Highland Council HER site references for any known archaeology visible in the image
  • a title
  • a text description providing further information about what the image showed.

Jim described his love of flying, planes and aerial photography in a blog he wrote just before he died. Another blog by Jonathan Wordsworth describes the challenge of interpreting what the images show. Lastly, a fuller biography of Jim Bone and a description of the project can be found here

Jim was always open with his images, willingly giving them to anyone who expressed an interest or needed an image of a specific site. In a similar vein, we in NOSAS who have inherited these images want them to be used and useful. If you would like a decent copy of one of these images, please contact Roland Spencer-Jones 

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