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Patrick Moubray Cadell


1941 - 2010

Archivist. Born in Linlithgow, the son of Colonel H.M. Cadell of Grange, Cadell was educated at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh and Trinity College, Cambridge. After working for the British Museum in London, he returned to Scotland in 1968, to take up a post in the Manuscripts Department of the National Library of Scotland, rising to become Head of Manuscripts in 1983. He then became Keeper of the Records of Scotland, serving from 1990 until his retirement in 2000. In this role Cadell innovated by scanning records and making digital copies available online, contributing to Scotland's world-leading position in terms of digital historical records. He encouraged the preservation and promotion of archives, whether by Scottish local authorities or across Europe.

Cadell was also responsible for a new state-of-the-art storage facility for the National Archives in Bankhead: Thomas Thomson House, which opened in 1995. He wrote several books and served as President of the West Lothian History and Amenity Society, Chairman of the Society of Archivists (1997-99) and was appointed Bailie of the Abbey Court of Holyrood. He was honoured by France and awarded a CBE in the 2000 New Year Honours List.

He died in Edinburgh, where a thanksgiving service was held in Canongate Kirk.


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