National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Record Keeping

Record Keeping

One of the aims of the National Records of Scotland (NRS) is to lead the development of archival practice in Scotland. These pages are designed to provide help and information to anyone with responsibility for records in Scotland or with an interest in record keeping. The pages have been divided into five main areas as listed below:


Information relating to the preservation and conservation of archives including work which has already been undertaken by our Conservation Services Branch and conservation grants.

Guidance for depositors

Guidance and forms required by those involved in depositing records with us from government departments, non-departmental public bodies, courts, legal bodies and the Church of Scotland. Also includes information on the transmission of court and legal records and the retransmission of records to depositors.

Guidance for private record owners

Guidance for owners on the care and management of privately held records.


Information on the legislation under which archives operate, including the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, data protection law, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations and the Public Records Act.

Records management

Guidance on managing records in all formats. Please see also our Electronic Records Guidance section.

Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011

The Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 places an obligation on named public authorities to prepare and implement a Records Management Plan (RMP) which sets out proper arrangements for the management of their records. RMPs will be agreed with the Keeper of the Records of Scotland and regularly reviewed by authorities. Where authorities fail to meet their obligations under the Act the Keeper has powers to undertake records management reviews and issue action notices for improvement.

Records policies

Our Records Policies on areas such as the selection of government records and data protection.