National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future



Our collections include:

  • registers of births, deaths, marriages, divorces, civil partnerships, dissolutions and adoptions
  • Scottish government records from the 12th century to the present day
  • records created by courts of law, churches, businesses, landed estates and other corporate bodies
  • Scottish census enumeration books
  • and the National Health Service Central Register.

You can find detailed information about the records through our catalogues and indexes and research guides.

Archives Academic and Learning/Research Policy

Our Archives Academic and Learning/Research Policy (245 KB PDF) describes how National Records of Scotland (NRS) supports publicly beneficial academic research by making archives available to the research community based in or supported by universities, Higher Education Institutions or funding bodies.

Access Policy

Our Access Policy (610 KB PDF) describes how NRS makes archives publicly available using a variety of channels, including onsite services, digital services, education and learning and in partnership with other organisations.

Family history

Our family history guide provides an overview of the records we make available to help you trace your Scottish ancestors online, at our centre in Edinburgh and at Local Family History Centres elsewhere in Scotland.

Medical Research

If you are a medical researcher you may also be interested in the National Health Service Central Register pages in the Statistics and Data area of this website.


For information on researching tartans (or registering a tartan) please go to our official Scottish Register of Tartans website.

Research in Edinburgh

Visit Us to carry out your research in our search rooms

Researching online

Read our guide to researching online


Find out more about using our records for learning for teachers, pupils and students of all ages.