National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Data Protection Guidance

Data Protection Guidance

National Records of Scotland (NRS) is responsible for the selection, preservation and provision of access to the public, legal and private records which constitute Scotland’s national archives. We have a duty to ensure that the personal data contained within these historical records are processed fairly, lawfully, and in a transparent manner in compliance with data protection legislation.

Data protection law allows records containing the personal information of living people to be accessed for historical research purposes provided that appropriate safeguards for people’s right and freedoms are met. The safeguard requirements will not be met if the processing is:

  • Likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress to a data subject;
  • Used for measures or decisions about particular individuals, except for approved medical research.
  • National Records of Scotland provides some access to personal information in its collections for research purposes and to meet statutory obligations.
  • Our fact sheet “Research Use of Personal Data in Archival Records” provides a fuller explanation of your responsibilities and obligations under data protection law 
  • You are reminded that by signing the Declaration at the bottom of the Reader’s Ticket form you are undertaking to abide by the conditions of access and use outlined in the factsheet.