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Catalogues and Indexes

Catalogues and Indexes

We are in the course of making alterations to the NRS online catalogue, which currently shows some records as being open when they are closed. In the meantime we recommend that you contact us before your visit to check the current status of a record: Tel:  0131 535 1334 or email at historical_enquiries@nrscotland.gov.uk

Each collection of records held by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) has a catalogue or index to help you find the right material whether it's a file or a single document.

Catalogues are lists of archives according to where they came from and when they were created (their provenance). Indexes by surname, placename or topic are sometimes made of certain types of record to allow you to find individual documents easily.


Most of the records we hold are described on an electronic database: the NRS online catalogue. Within the NRS, a body known as the National Register of Archives for Scotland (NRAS) catalogues records held in private hands and these are described on the NRAS online register. The NRS also contributes data information to the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) online catalogue,

Search the National Records of Scotland online catalogue

Search the NRAS online register.

Search the Scottish Archive Network catalogue.


Some series of records have separate indexes of persons, places and topics. For more information on these, see our research guides.