National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Reader's Tickets

Reader's Tickets

Records open to public inspection are made available without charge, for the purposes of historical research, to holders of a Reader’s Ticket. A Reader’s Ticket is valid for up to three years; then it must be renewed.

How to Apply for a Reader's Ticket

A Reader's Ticket must be applied for in-person on your first visit to the Historical Search Room and can also be issued in the Maps and Plans search room. Please ensure you bring the following documentation with you on your first visit, or when renewing your Reader’s Ticket: 

  1. Proof of name, one of the following:
  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Expired NRS Readers Ticket
  • Bank/credit card
  • National ID card
  • Government/Government agency ID card
  • Student ID card
  • Police/Customs or Home Office warrant card
  • Forces ID card
  • Sea or Air Masters licence
  • Blue Badge 
  • Freedom pass photo card
  • Any travel passes issued in the UK for concessionary travel
    including a 60+, disabled, Blind SmartPass, or under 22s bus pass
  1. Proof of address, one of the following (these must be physical, original documents and not scanned print outs, copies or printed PDFs):
  • Utility bill
  • Council tax bill
  • Bank statement
  • HMRC statement
  • Passport (with address entered by the issuing authority)
  • National ID card with address
  • Driving licence with an address
  • Home Office permit to stay
  • University certificate for hall of residence
  • Firearms licence
  • Home insurance policy
  • International student ID card with address
  • Student Loans Company letter
  • Pension or benefit agency letter
  1. Two recent passport-style photographs of yourself - these must be passport size, in colour and on photographic paper.

Rules on use of your Reader's Ticket

The following rules/procedures apply to the issue and usage of all Reader's Tickets:

  • Reader’s Tickets are only issued to people aged 16 years or older
  • When entering the Historical Search Room, you must show your Reader’s Ticket to reception staff
  • A Reader’s Ticket must not be loaned to anyone else. Any change of the details recorded on it, or any loss of the ticket, must be reported immediately
  • A Reader’s Ticket remains the property of NRS. We reserve the right to charge for a replacement or withdraw a readers ticket if Conditions of Access are not adhered to
  • Unreasonable behaviour towards other readers or staff may result in the withdrawal of a reader’s ticket
  •  If you lose or mislay your Reader’s Ticket, you will need to supply identification and photos as above to have it replaced