In 2003, the Spence family presented the Sir Basil Spence Archive to the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). The gift of nearly 40,000 items spans Spence’s entire working life, from student drawings and early career, through his competition-winning design for Coventry Cathedral, to his later achievements with schools, universities, airports, social housing and hospitals.
Working in partnership with the National Galleries of Scotland and The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, RCAHMS has undertaken cataloguing and conservation work to make the archive available for public study and exhibition, and has used it as inspiration for a series of education and outreach activities.
The project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Executive Architecture Policy Unit. The work of the project has been complemented by a parallel research initiative funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.