National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

What We Do

What We Do

The purpose of NRS is to collect, preserve and produce information about Scotland's people and history and make it available to inform current and future generations.

Our work underpins the fabric of Scottish society: telling the story of our nation.

Our Business

National Records of Scotland performs the registration and statistical functions of the Registrar General for Scotland and the archival functions of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland, including maintaining the archives as one of Scotland’s five National Collections.

We hold records spanning the 12th to the 21st centuries, touching on virtually every aspect of Scottish life. We are the repository for the public and legal records of Scotland but we also have many local and private archives. We hold and make available one of the most varied collections of records in Britain.

We provide a leadership role for archive and record professionals, and require 250 named public authorities to submit records management plans for agreement by the Keeper under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011.

We administer the registration of life events such as births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, divorces and adoptions. We are also responsible for the statutes relating to the formalities of marriage and civil partnership and the conduct of civil marriage.

We take the census of Scotland’s population every 10 years and prepare and publish regular demographic statistics. These statistics play a vital part in underpinning decision making from national to local level, and are a building block in the development of a large number of economic and social statistics.

We have a global audience for our work, for example genealogists researching their Scots ancestry can access our records online or as part of a visit to Scotland, and the Scottish Register of Tartans website attracts worldwide interest.