Search the Online Register

Search the Online Register

National Register of Archives for Scotland logoThe National Register of Archives for Scotland (NRAS) was established by the National Records of Scotland (NRS), formerly the National Archives of Scotland (NAS), in 1946 to compile a record of papers of historical significance in private hands in Scotland.

The principal aims of the NRAS are to locate such papers and to encourage their care so that their loss and destruction may be avoided. The Register now contains over 4,300 surveys of private papers including the records of landed estates, private individuals, businesses, law firms and societies.

Please note:

  • Many of the NRAS surveys are available on the NRAS electronic Register at the National Records of Scotland (in Edinburgh)
  • Surveys can also be searched on the online Register, though not all of the surveys are available electronically
  • The NRAS does not hold any of the records listed in its surveys

What does the NRAS online Register contain?

Titles of collections of private papers deposited in local authority and university archives.

Where the owner has given permission, the full survey is available online. For all others, a summary of the contents of the collections is available but the full survey can only be consulted at the NRS and The National Archives (TNA) in London.
Many owners are unable to deal with a large volume of enquiries and for this reason have asked us to restrict enquiries to non genealogical searches.

Which surveys are not available online?

Full lists of private papers deposited in local authority archives and university archives. Information on these collections is available on the following websites:

  • The National Register of Archives (maintained by The National Archives: Historical Manuscripts Commission). Paper copies of these surveys can be consulted at the NRS and TNA.
  • Archives Hub: a national gateway to descriptions of archives in UK universities and colleges
  • Scottish Archive Network (SCAN): a unified online catalogue of the holdings of 52 Scottish archives

Search the Online Register

Search the NRAS Online Register.

What should I do once I have identified items I would like to consult?

For further information please consult the researchers page.