National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Catalogues and Indexes

Catalogues and Indexes

Each collection of records held by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) has a catalogue or index to help you find the right material whether it's a file or a single document.

Catalogues are lists of archives according to where they came from and when they were created (their provenance). Indexes by surname, placename or topic are sometimes made of certain types of record to allow you to find individual documents easily.


Most of the records we hold are described on an electronic database: the NRS online catalogue. Within the NRS, a body known as the National Register of Archives for Scotland (NRAS) catalogues records held in private hands and these are described on the NRAS online register. The NRS also contributes data information to the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) online catalogue,

Search the National Records of Scotland online catalogue

​Search the NRAS online register.

Search the Scottish Archive Network catalogue.


Some series of records have separate indexes of persons, places and topics. For more information on these, see our research guides.

Catalogue guidance

Guidance on using the NRS online catalogue can be found on the NRS YouTube channel, along with an introduction to the NRAS online register.