National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future



Welcome to the Learning section of the National Records of Scotland (NRS) website, which promotes the use and understanding of archives by teachers, pupils and learners of all ages and stages of learning.

Services for Schools

Our Services for Schools are designed to support Curriculum for Excellence and National Qualifications in the form of workshops and online resources for Scottish primary and secondary schools.

We are a partner in the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) and have contributed to their website which contains an education micro-site that offers four modules designed to support learning and teaching of Scottish social, economic and political history.


Find out more about a range of subjects based on research in our record collections in the features section. There is a special series which commemorates the centenary of the First World War.

Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame provides examples of records in our collections. Entries can be browsed in the Hall of Fame A-Z.


Palaeography is the study of older forms of handwriting. It is important for anyone who wants to read historical records written in Scotland before the 19th century. We offer three kinds of learning:

  • The Scottish Handwriting resource on the ScotlandsPeople website offers practical tuition in palaeography for historians, genealogists and other researchers who have problems reading manuscript historical records written in Scotland in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries
  • evening classes in Scottish Handwriting 1500-1700 (about which see our events, talks and visits page)
  • 'Scottish Handwriting 1500-1700' a self-help pack published jointly with the Scottish Records Association which can be purchased from the ScotlandsPeople shop.

For more information on the above, see our Palaeography page.


We have been making the archives of Scotland available through our publications since the early 19th century. Whether you are studying history or reading it purely for your own pleasure, our range of publications can help bring the past alive.

Talks and visits

Would you like to visit NRS or hear a talk by a member of staff? Find out how to organise or participate in events, talks and visits.

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Outreach and Learning Strategy

This strategy describes NRS' Outreach and Learning services. We set out to connect and engage everyone with Scotland's history, heritage and culture. Together we can learn about and be inspired by Scotland's people, places and history and inform present and future generations.

Download a copy of our Outreach and Learning Strategy (138 KB PDF).