National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Guidance for Depositors

Guidance for Depositors

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) gives advice to depositors on the care of their records. This section contains information and forms required by those involved in depositing records in the NRS from government departments, non-departmental public bodies, courts, legal bodies and the Church of Scotland.

Government Records

The NRS accepts records of the Scottish Government and its agencies, its predecessor the Scottish Office and non-departmental public bodies. In general, records which relate to devolved matters are held by the NRS while the records of reserved matters are deposited with The National Archives (London) although there are a number of exceptions such as Scottish customs and excise records, which the NRS keeps.

Courts and Legal Bodies

The Court and Legal Records (CLR) of the NRS is responsible for taking in Court and legal records. This includes the supreme courts comprising: the High Court of Justiciary and the Court of Session; the Sheriff Courts, Justice of the Peace Courts and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. CLR also take in records from the Registers of Scotland and the Land Court.

Church Records

The church collections form a significant proportion of the holdings of the NRS, which is the recognised national repository for records of the Church of Scotland, and its constituent predecessor churches. The NRS has an agreement with the Church of Scotland for the deposit of church records that are more than 50 years old and not still in use. It also holds agreements with a number of local authority archives, who look after the church records for their area on behalf of the NRS. Records of other churches such as the Methodist and Scottish Episcopal churches are also held by the NRS.

Born Digital Records

Born digital records are those which have been natively created in a digital format. Record deposits may take the form of analogue records (predominantly paper), born digital records or a hybrid of both. Born digital records present their own unique challenges in terms of transfer and preservation. Our client managers, assisted by the Digital Records Unit at NRS, will guide depositors through the transfer process. This involves ensuring the records are transferred in a secure manner and that the required contextual information is provided to ensure the long term preservation of the digital records. Guidance for digital records transfers is outlined in the ‘Depositor Guidance For the Transfer of Archival Born Digital Records’ (509 KB PDF).