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Friday 6 January 2017

About the National Archives of Scotland

Based in Edinburgh, the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) exists to select, preserve, and make available the national archives of Scotland in whatever medium, to the highest standards; to promote the growth and maintenance of proper archive provision throughout the country; and to lead the development of archival practice in Scotland.

The NAS also holds historical records created by businesses, landed estates, families, churches and other corporate bodies. Every year tens of thousands of people from all over the world use the NAS's services to carry out research, seek advice on record keeping, and enhance the learning and teaching of history.
H.M General Register House at The National Archives of Scotland

What we do

The NAS plays an important role in Scotland's economic and cultural life. The property market in Scotland is dependent on the services provided by the NAS to legal searchers, while its historical records are much used in lifelong learning and are a major attraction for genealogists, which helps promote tourism. In addition to advising Scottish Ministers on records and information policy, the NAS advises Scottish public authorities about the creation and management of their records, it advises public and private owners about their historical records and it provides a reference service to the public on all aspects of the national archives. Each year the NAS staff deal with about 12,000 visits to its search rooms and provides visitors with access to around 250,000 records. It makes around 750,000 copies from legal and historical records, provides customers with around 5,000 extracts from legal registers, and answers around 9,000 postal and e-mail enquiries.

Place in government and corporate structure

The NAS is an agency of the Scottish Government: the devolved Scottish part of the United Kingdom's central government. Scottish Government Agencies are established by Ministers as part of Scottish Government departments, or as departments in their own right, to carry out discrete areas of work. Read more about the NAS's place in government and corporate structure, and consult minutes, annual reports and accounts, and other important corporate information.

Where is the NAS?

The NAS has three buildings in Edinburgh. Find out more information about the history of the NAS and its buildings and how to find us.

Working with the NAS

The NAS is headed by the Keeper of the Records of Scotland and is staffed by civil servants. It employs about 160 members of staff, including archivists, conservators, ICT and other specialists and administrative staff. Recruitment of staff is carried out through the Scottish Government's Human Resources. The NAS works with other bodies and projects in Scotland and beyond to preserve Scottish records and promote archives. Find out more about working with the NAS.
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Page last updated: Friday 30 September 2005

The National Archives of Scotland, H.M. General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY; tel +44 (0) 131 535 1314; email: