Visit us

Detail from New Register House Dome ceiling

The Dundas Search Room in the ScotlandsPeople Centre has reopened for all customers with a restricted number of seats. Please note this is strictly by appointment only. Opening hours are 9am – 4.30pm, Mondays to Fridays.

Any customer wishing to visit the ScotlandsPeople Search Room must Contact us and select the category ‘Seat Booking ScotlandsPeople Centre’. Requests will be considered on a strictly first come first served basis. All search rooms are currently operating a restricted service and at much reduced capacity. We are dealing with a large number of enquiries and apologise that our response times will be longer than normal.

We will email you to confirm whether or not a seat is available on a specified day. Once you have confirmed that the specified day suits you we will email you nearer the date and no less than one week before to confirm your seat number and send you a link to a web page where the payment can be made ahead of your visit. Our day search fee is £15. All payments must be received within 72 hours in advance of your booking.

We are working to release an online seat booking system in the coming weeks.

In order to access the Dundas ScotlandsPeople search room you need to follow directional signage to this search room through the Archivists’ Garden area, which is located behind General Register House.

To ensure that our search rooms are safe for staff and visitors, we have made a variety of changes to our service provision and they are summarised below together with our amended day search charge. It is not possible, at this time, to offer season tickets for purchase, in recognition of the limited number of available seats and restricted opening hours which are now in place.

  • You must comply with our NRS Safe Visit Agreement
  • In order to maintain social distancing and increase ventilation within our search room the total available number of search room seats is 16. 
  • Our opening hours from Monday 18th October 9am – 4.30pm, Mondays to Fridays. Please ensure that you maintain social distancing at all times during your visit.
  • Our day search fee charge is £15. As mentioned above, all payments must be received within 72 hours in advance of your booking.
  • To ensure that social distancing is maintained, you will not be offered access to printers or in turn prints during your search room visit and neither is an onsite scanning service available so it will not be possible to remedy any poor images encountered during your visit.
  • You may bring along a laptop during your visit to type up notes about the records that you find.
  • You can save copies of the historical records you find to your account, the same pay-per-view charges will apply.
  • It is now possible to request microfiche copies of entries from the Adopted Children’s Register. A maximum of five microfiche per day are permitted. No access to microfilm is available.

Please do not visit us unless you have received an email confirming your booking and that we have received payment for your search room seat. We are not open for routine visitors.

Public Holidays

The Centre - along with all our offices - is closed on certain public holidays. These dates for the period up to 31 January 2022 are:

  • Monday 27th December 2021
  • Tuesday 28th December 2021
  • Monday 3rd January 2022
  • Tuesday 4th January 2022
In addition to the above holiday dates, all our search rooms and public services will be closed on Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th and Friday 31st December 2021.
The online seat booking system is not available at this time. Follow the process outlined above to book a seat.
Whilst at the Centre you can save copies of the historical records you find to your account, the same pay-per-view charges will apply.

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 (1703-1964)
  • Census records (1841-1911)
  • Coats of arms (1672-100 years ago)
  • Highland and Island Emigration Society records
  • Military Service Appeals Tribunal records (1916-1918) 
  • 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)

Virtual volumes (1559-1900) can also be viewed though the images will contain a watermark in the same manner as the online images. Watermarks can only be removed when viewed if the image is purchased and saved to your personal account for 2 credits and when the image is downloaded from your saved volumes.

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)

At this time it is not possible to search the Adopted Children's Register.

Please note that credits purchased for the ScotlandsPeople website cannot be used to purchase day search places.

Further information

The ScotlandsPeople Centre and visit us pages on the National Records of Scotland website provide further information about:

  • Locations of the buildings and search rooms
  • Disabled access and facilities
  • Archivists' Garden

Local family history centres

There are several centres elsewhere in Scotland which provide access to the ScotlandsPeople Centre search system. Please note that opening times for these local centres may be affected by COVID restrictions. Further information is provided on their websites: