The Aberdeen Harbour Photographic Collection consists of about 6,000 glass plate negatives dating from the 1880s to the 1930s. They are mainly images of the harbour and surrounding area, but include some of Aberdeen city and further afield. The photographs were taken by the Board's engineering staff as a record of port developments and activities.
The period covers notable milestones in the history of the port which was first mentioned in 1136 and now handles 4 million tonnes of cargo annually. The first steam trawler was launched in 1883, introducing a new era for the fishing industry. Infrastructure developments in the 1880s-1890s laid the shape of today's harbour and were the catalyst for increasing world trade. World War I saw many Aberdeen vessels lost at sea and a drop in trade from which the port took two decades to recover.
The collection was deposited with the University in 1999. With financial assistance from the Board as part of their Millennium celebrations, batches of the plates have been made available on the web.