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Tuesday 28 February 2017

Doing research

In the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) you will find records created by Scottish government from the 12th century until the present day, along with private records created by businesses, landed estates, families, courts, churches and other corporate bodies.

The NAS is not the only place which holds historical records in Scotland. Important family history records (including birth, death and marriage registers, and census returns) are held in the General Register Office for Scotland. Many of Scotland's local authorities, universities, health boards, and other corporate bodies also keep historical records and maintain archive services. Some government records relating to Scotland are held by The National Archives (in London). Find out more about records held by the NAS and elsewhere.

In Edinburgh's city centre there are three search rooms where you can consult all government and private records which are held by the NAS and are open to public access. In the search rooms you have access to a full range of research services, including advice from staff. Alternatively, it is possible to carry out some research remotely, either by using this website, or by making enquiries by post, e-mail, telephone or fax.

Find out more about the NAS search rooms, including important information on preparing for your visit.

Find out how to carry out research remotely by searching online, or by enquiring by post, e-mail, telephone or fax.

Research information for students
PhD students and others planning a research project drawing heavily on NAS records are advised that records might be unavailable or withdrawn from production for conservation, cataloguing or exhibition use. It is advisable to contact NAS as early as possible in the research process, as we are then able to assess conservation priorities or suggest other possible sources if those originally identified are unavailable.

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Page last updated: Tuesday 16 August 2011

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