NRS Updates: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
NRS Updates: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Updated: 4 July 2022
Visiting our Search Rooms
Two weeks ago we informed you that safety concerns were identified in a routine health and safety inspection of mobile storage racks in some of our store rooms at West Register House. As a result of this we regrettably stopped accessing the records on these racks, as a precautionary measure. This has meant that items on the shelves in the mobile racks can’t be accessed and items that were out for viewing can’t be returned.
We have worked quickly with suppliers and have made good progress. We are not yet able to reopen access but we do now think we have a workable solution. Once we have a timescale for reopening access to the affected records we will share this with you.
We’d like to thank customers for their patience and to apologise for the inconvenience. We know it has come at a very difficult time following two years of disruption due to the pandemic.
NRS is pleased to be welcoming customers back to our search rooms. Whilst recognising most Covid restrictions have now converted to guidance, we still retain some essential safety measures to ensure a safe environment for staff and visitors. Please see our Safe Visit Agreement (updated 4 May 2022) for details.
All search rooms continue to operate a reduced service which we are keeping under close and continuous review. We are dealing with a large number of enquiries and apologise that our response times will be longer than normal. If you wish to contact us, please use our Contact Us form on the ScotlandsPeople website, or email: [email protected]
We recognise the demand for access to our Historical Search room and active planning is underway to return current Historical Search room services to their original location. Seat booking will still be required at present, but will be one of many aspects under review. In addition to the current service offering, this move will, in the first instance, offer customers access to paper catalogues and library volumes with further work over the coming weeks presenting opportunities to increase seat capacity and allow additional aspects of service delivery to be reinstated. This move is likely to take place during June 2022 and a specific date will be communicated to customers on the NRS website, when that information is available.
We have experienced significant and unique challenges due to the requirement for good ventilation in our category A listed buildings. We continue to focus on ensuring we maintain a safe environment for our staff and customers.
Historical Search Room
The Historical Search Room is now open to all customers but is operating with reduced capacity and by appointment only. Please see our Guidelines for users of the Reid Historical Search Room (326 KB jpeg) for further information.
Access to the Historical Search Room is by appointment only. The search room is open between 10:00 – 16:30, Mondays to Fridays (except for certain public holidays). You will be given a designated arrival time upon booking your appointment.
To book an appointment:
We’re currently unable to offer a copy service or printing facilities.
Dundas Search Room
The ScotlandsPeople Centre's Dundas Search Room is now open to all customers but is operating with reduced capacity. Access is by appointment only. Opening hours are 9:00 – 16.30, Mondays to Fridays (except for certain public holidays).
For further information and to book a seat online please go to the ScotlandsPeople website's Visit Us page.
We’re currently unable to offer a copy service or printing facilities.
Legal Search Room
The Legal Search Room currently remains closed to all visitors.
We continue to supply digital copies where they are available and have reduced numbers of essential staff in the office on a part time basis to process urgent enquiries and provide extracts from original records.
If you require access to our legal records please contact us by email: [email protected].
- Registration Services
- Statistical publications
- NRS Learning Services
- Services to record depositors
- Contact us
Customers can order a certificate using Certificates and Copies on our ScotlandsPeople website.
We cannot process orders received by any other contact channel or for Census and Old Parish Records.
We understand that there may be very urgent cases where certificates are required quickly. If this is the case, please order the certificate online and then use our contact form on ScotlandsPeople selecting ‘Certificates and Copies’ to provide information on your urgent requirements.
For urgent Adoption Birth Certificates and No Trace Divorce Letters, these can be requested through the Contact Us button, on the ScotlandsPeople website selecting ‘Certificates and Copies’. One of our team will then contact you.
If you require information on ordering an older adoption certificate please see the Ordering a Certificate section.
If you have any enquiries relating to adoptions please contact us by email.
For information about where adoption records are held and what help is available for accessing them, consult our Adoption Records research guide
NRS understands that this is a very distressing and difficult time for bereaved families. Registrars can take ‘remote’ registration of deaths, by telephone or electronic means and information on this is available from our Registering a Death page or contact your local registration office (64 KB PDF) direct, to arrange an appointment.
Please check the guidance for Registration of Births issued by the Registrar General for Scotland.
If you have an urgent query about a marriage or civil partnership, please email: [email protected].
Change of name
Our team are currently working through:
- a backlog of applications which were received during our service suspension period
- processing urgent applications.
If you would like an update on a request which has already been submitted or you have an urgent application which you would like to discuss with us, please contact [email protected]. New applications will be held in a queue and processed in strict date order, using the date they are received in the office.
Please note, we cannot accept payment other than by credit/debit card. Also, we cannot provide a new birth extract automatically but will provide information on how one can be obtained following a change of name.
If you have a query about how to have a change of name recorded please email [email protected]
Re-registration of a Birth or Still-birth:
If you would like advice about the re-registration of a birth or still-birth, please email: [email protected]. Active planning is underway to resume re-registration services and an update will be provided here soon
If you would like general advice about the gender recognition process or how the birth registration process works in Scotland, please email: [email protected].
Corrections to register entries
If you would like advice about having a correction made to a register entry, please email: [email protected]
‘To Whom It May Concern’ Letters
If you require advice about requesting a letter from the Registrar General for Scotland to confirm that the statutory indexes have been checked and that there is no record of a current marriage or civil partnership for you, please email: [email protected]
Transfer of Records to NRS
The transfer of records to NRS has resumed. Please contact us as follows:
- Government bodies: [email protected]
- Courts and Judicial bodies: [email protected]
- Private bodies and churches: [email protected]
The retransmission service is fully operational.
For cases where client bodies or depositors need urgent access to inspect their records in NRS (client inspections), arrangements are now in place to make records available. If there is a requirement to do this please contact us as follows:
- Courts and COPFS: [email protected]
- Crown Estate Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and Scottish Government: [email protected]
- Private Depositors: [email protected]
Which NRS services can I use?
We will continue to deliver a number of our services including:
- Statistical publications: NRS is reviewing its data gathering and release practices, and focussing efforts on priority statistics in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Users and stakeholders will be advised of any changes as soon as possible. The latest information on publication dates and further information including contact details is available on our statistics publication page.
- Legal documents: The legal search room remains closed to all visitors. If you require access to our legal records please contact us at [email protected]. We continue to supply digital copies where they are available and have reduced numbers of essential staff in the office on a part time basis to process urgent enquiries and provide extracts from original records.
- Scottish Register of Tartans: You can currently apply to register your tartan online via your account and submit enquiries via email.
- ScotlandsPeople: our online services are available as usual and our teams are currently working from home to make new records available for release. We recently released the Radical Rising of 1820 within our Virtual Volumes record set, which can be viewed for free with a small charge to download a copy to an online personal account. There are a number of our records which you can search and view for free. ScotlandsPlaces also offers a range of free resources which will help to support your research and ScottishHandwriting website, offers free online tuition in palaeography for anyone who is having difficulties reading manuscript historical records written in Scotland.
- NRS Learning Services: Teachers, pupils and learners of all ages and stages can access and engage with our online resources via the Learning section of the NRS website. The resources available at Services for Schools and Scottish Archives for Schools are designed to support the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence and National Qualifications. If you have any enquiries, contact us by email.
- NRS Web Continuity Service continues to operate. If you have any questions please contact [email protected].
- Public Records Scotland Act (PRSA): The Records Management Plan and Progress Update Review rolling programme of assessmentcontinues as normal. We do however appreciate that many of our stakeholder authorities will themselves be experiencing disruption during this time. Please contact the team by email if you have any queries or concerns.
- National Register of Archives for Scotland: Access to records held privately has necessarily been withdrawn during this period. The NRAS however continues to offer advice and guidance to owners and researchers, please contact us by email.
- Advice and support for the archive sector: It is important to ensure that archive collections remain safe and secure. The National Archives has useful webpages covering collections safety, Archive Service Accreditation, and a list of useful guidance and resources from other organisations.
- Disaster or incident control advice relating to archive collections can be provided remotely by the NRS Preservation team. Please contact [email protected].
- Exhibition Loans: We support requests from other organisations wishing to borrow records for exhibition. Please contact [email protected]
We are closed on certain public holidays. These dates for the period up to 31 January 2023 are:
- Autumn holiday - Monday 19 September 2022
- Christmas Day holiday - Monday 26 December 2022
- Boxing Day holiday - Tuesday 27 December 2022
- New Year's Day holiday - Monday 2 January 2023
- New Year's Day holiday - Tuesday 3 January 2023
Your enquiry is important to us and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible. Due to current circumstances, we may not meet standard timescales for response and our normal access to our records may be limited, which will impact on the information and copies which we can provide at this time. To help you get to the right team as quickly as possible, we have provided a list of our direct email addresses which can be used to contact us with your enquiry.
|Change of Name||[email protected]|
|Correction of Statutory Registration errors||[email protected]|
|Data Protection||[email protected]|
|Divorces||Indexes for divorces from 1984 can be viewed at ScotlandsPeople at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.
For divorces from 1919 to 1984 [email protected].
|Freedom of Information||[email protected]|
|Gender Recognition||[email protected]|
|General Registration Queries||[email protected]|
|Advice and guidance to bodies who deposit historical records with us||[email protected]|
|Advice and guidance for Government bodies, agencies & departments||[email protected]|
|Historical and Legal Documents||Contact us through ScotlandsPeople at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk or if unable to access the website then contact us at [email protected]|
|Learning Services||[email protected]|
|Local organisation unit||[email protected]|
|Marriages and Civil Partnerships||[email protected]|
|Media Enquiries||[email protected]|
|Scotlands Census 2021enquiries||[email protected]|
|Multi-Lingual Translation Aids||[email protected]|
|National Register of Archives for Scotland - Research and advice to private owners of archive collections||[email protected]|
|Preservation/ Conservation of Records||[email protected]|
|Public Records (Scotland) Act - Submission of Records Management plans or advice||[email protected]|
|Re-registration of a Birth or Still-birth||[email protected]|
|ScotlandsPeople service||Contact us through the website at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk or [email protected]|
|Scottish Register of Tartans||[email protected]|
|Statistical data||[email protected]|
|Wills up to 1925||Contact us through the website at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk|
|Wills from 1925 to 1999 are available on a limited basis.||[email protected]|
|Wills more modern than the year 2000 are not held by us.||Scottish Courts should be contacted at [email protected].|
We are able to answer general enquiries via our phone lines as a means of support for customers who do not have access to email or for those who have urgent enquiries. Please contact us on 0131 202 0451 and one of our staff team will be happy to help. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday 10:00 to 12:00 (noon).