Our collections contain some of the best works by Scottish artists and architects of the last 200 years.

They are supported by an extensive archive and library. Together they tell the story of Scottish art and architecture through the eyes of its practitioners and the institution they have led. They were Recognised as a collection of National Significance to Scotland in 2008.


The foundation for the collections is the Diploma Collection. Established in 1831, it is comprised of works self-selected by our members on their election as an RSA Academician. Our nineteenth-century collecting was strongly linked to our teaching and support of artists. We collected paintings, prints and books to provide access to the best examples of Scottish and European art.


We had a national outlook from early in our history and acquired numerous major works. Many of these were transferred to the Scottish national collection in 1910.