Frequently Asked Questions

Charges

What can I do for free?

Once registered, you can search our indexes without charge – you only pay to view and save images of records and to order certificates. For information about fees for copies and certificates, please see the page on Our charges.

You can view the following records for free:

Maps and plans

• Records made available via Virtual Volumes (you pay to save or download copies)

Image Library (you pay to save a high-resolution copy)

Highland and Island Emigration Society records

• A transcribed version of the 1881 (LDS) census

We have made various Scottish tax records available for free on the ScotlandsPlaces website along with other resources that may support your research, including:

  • Maps, surveys and plans
  • Photographs
  • Archaeological records
  • Drawings
  • Ordnance Survey Name Books
  • Publications

As part of our commitment to lifelong learning, we offer tuition in palaeography – the study of older forms of handwriting. Our ScottishHandwriting.com website is to support historians, genealogists and other researchers with reading manuscript historical records written in Scotland in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The emphasis is on practical help to improve palaeographical skills, rather than on the academic study of Scottish handwriting.