National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) is responsible for the historical records of the Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). The Court and Legal Records team are responsible for the transmission and cataloguing of these records.

Crown Office

NRS accepts annual transmissions of Crown Office records after they are 10 years old, with the exception of files on policy, or legislation files and establishment records, which are dealt with by the Government Records Branch. The Court and Legal Records team accepts records such as precognitions and criminal appeals and receives them in dedicated deliveries throughout the year. Crown Office staff must prepare the material in accordance with the COPFS schedule, ensuring that records are boxed, using boxes which meet the NRS box specification or else have been approved by NRS Conservation Services Branch. The boxes should be labelled, easily accessible and ready for uplift.

Prior to the transmission of any records to the NRS, the Crown Office record keeper should complete the relevant transmission form (PDF 29KB) describing the quantities, format and appropriate metreage or shelf space of the records being transmitted.

Appropriate finding aids, preferably in an electronic form, must accompany each transmission.

Procurator Fiscal Service

Historically NRS has not regularly received PF records, or ‘core papers’, with the exception of one large deposit of papers in 2001. In 2016, NRS started receiving records from the Procurator Fiscal (PF) Service. These deliveries began with a large delivery of miscellaneous material in 2016, followed in 2017 with the arrival of core papers for 2005 from across Scotland. Going forward core papers will be delivered to NRS by COPFS in January/February each year, after they are 10 years old, in line with the COPFS precognition/appeal record transmission.

Arrangements for transmissions are made via the Crown Office in accordance with the COPFS schedule. Appropriate finding aids, preferably in an electronic form, must accompany each transmission.

For any transmissions out with these scheduled deposits, i.e. for found historical material over 10 years old, contact should be made with COPFS first, then the Court and Legal Records team for discussion and approval.