Visit us

The ScotlandsPeople Centre's opening hours are 9:00 to 16:30, Monday to Friday excluding public holidays

Booking a seat

Our day search fee is £15. Payments for pre-booked appointments must be made online. 

Please note that:

  • Credits purchased for the ScotlandsPeople website cannot be used to purchase day search places.
  • There are no facilities for cash, cheque or card payments in the search rooms.
  • Season tickets are no longer available.

When booking a seat, please also inform us if you require assistance to evacuate the building in the event of an emergency. You will be given advice and instructed to report to a member of NRS search room staff upon your arrival, who will inform you of the assisted emergency evacuation procedure for the building

Book a seat

Access to Search Rooms

To access the Dundas Search Room in New Register House and Reid Search Room in General Register House please follow the signs in the Archivists’ Garden located behind General Register House. To ensure our search rooms are safe for staff and visitors, we have made various changes to our service provision:

  • Please see National Records of Scotland's guidance  on important measures adopted in our buildings to ensure the safety of staff and customers.
  • You may bring a laptop to type up notes about the records that you find.
  • You may save copies of historical records to your account - the same pay-per-view charges apply. Modern records cannot be saved or printed to customer's accounts.

The following are not currently available:

  • Access to microfilm
  • Access to the Adopted Children's Register
  • The ScotlandsPeople Café

Public holidays

Our buildings will be closed to the public on the following dates in the period up to 31 January 2025:

  • Friday 29 March 2024
  • Monday 1 April 2024
  • Monday 6 May 2024
  • Monday 16 September 2024
  • Wednesday 25 December 2024
  • Thursday 26 December 2024
  • Wednesday 1 January 2025
  • Thursday 2 January 2025

Records and indexes available

You can access index-linked digital images of the following records:

  • Statutory registers of births, deaths and marriages (from 1855)
  • Old Parish Registers (1553-1855)
  • Catholic parish registers (from 1703 with cut-offs of 100 years for births and other events, 75 for marriages and 50 for deaths)
  • Census records (1841-1921)
  • Coats of arms (1672-100 years ago)
  • Highland and Island Emigration Society records
  • Military Service Appeals Tribunal records (1916-1918)
  • Prison registers (1867-1921)
  • Soldiers' and airmen's wills (1857-1965)
  • Valuation rolls (1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1930, 1935 and 1940)
  • Wills and testaments (1513-1925)

You can also search indexes of the following:

  • Statutory register of divorces (from 1 May 1984)
  • Statutory register of civil partnerships (from 2005)
  • Statutory register of dissolutions of a civil partnership (from 2007)

You can view images in Virtual Volumes (1559-1900)

  • These images contain a watermark which can only be removed if the image is purchased and saved to your personal account for two credits and then downloaded from your saved volumes.

Further information

The National Records of Scotland website provides further information about:

Local family history centres

There are several centres elsewhere in Scotland which provide access to the ScotlandsPeople Centre search system. Further information is provided on their websites: