Frequently Asked Questions


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 Our charges page.

You can view the following for free:

•    Maps and plans

•    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 website is for historians, genealogists and other researchers who have problems reading manuscript historical records written in Scotland in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The emphasis is on practical help to improve palaeographical skills, rather than on the academic study of Scottish handwriting.