1. The National Archives of Scotland
1.1 The NAS is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government, within
the portfolio of the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture.
It is headed by the Keeper of the Records of Scotland, who is responsible
to the Scottish Ministers for records transmitted to him under the
provisions of the Public Records (Scotland) Act, 1937 and under
section 3, of the Public Records Act, 1958, as well as for records
of independent origin selected for preservation with the public
records of Scotland, including those of the Church of Scotland.
The Keeper is also responsible to the Lord President of the Court
of Session for the efficient management of the court and other legal
records in Scotland.
1.2 Our functions are:
to select public records regarded as worthy of permanent
to acquire other historical records of national importance,
or which otherwise merit preservation;
to divert, devolve or transfer records to other appropriate
repositories; and make suitable arrangements for the disposal of
to preserve to archival standards all records selected for
permanent preservation in the NAS;
to promote public access to the information in the records;
and increase access to the records through electronic means, the
use of copies, and by producing catalogues, exhibitions and publications;
to provide advice, guidance and support to owners and custodians
of records held outwith the NAS, especially local authorities and
other Scottish public authorities; and disseminate information on
and facilitate access to such records; and to take the lead in the
development of archival and records management practice in Scotland.
1.3 The NAS plays an important role in Scotlands 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.
1.4 The Keeper is answerable to the Scottish Ministers for the
operation of the NAS, its day to day management, and its future
development. Responsibility for financial matters rests with the
NAS Accountable Officer, who is the Deputy Keeper for Corporate
1.5 The NAS is divided into two divisions, each headed by a Deputy
Keeper. The Corporate Services Division is responsible for planning,
administration, public and support services. The Records Services
Division is responsible for relations with bodies that create records,
selecting and cataloguing records for retention and increasing the
use of the records.
1.6 The NAS does not own any publicly-owned companies as defined
under section 6 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
2. NRS Guide to Information - Covering the responsibilities of the Keeper of the Records of Scotlandpublish the classes of information that they make routinely available
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (the Act) requires Scottish public authorities to produce and maintain a publication scheme. Authorities are under a legal obligation to:
tell the public how to access the information and what it might cost.
National Records of Scotland has adopted the 'Model Publication Scheme 2012' produced by the Scottish Information Commissioner. You can see this scheme on the Scottish Information Commissioner's website.
The purpose of this Guide to Information is to:
allow the public to see what information is available (and what is not available) in relation to each class (A class is a group of information having one or more common characteristics such as subject or origin.)
state what charges may be applied
explain how to find the information easily
provide contact details for enquiries and to get help with accessing the information
explain how to request information we hold that has not been published.
Download our Guide to Information:
Guide to Information, Rich Text Format, 875KB, new window
Guide to Information, Acrobat PDF, 52KB, new window
See also the NRS Guide to Information Covering the Responsibilities of the Registrar General for Scotland which can be found at the
General Register Office for Scotland Publication Scheme webpage.
3. Freedom of Information
3.1 Access to NAS corporate information that is not included in
the publication scheme can be requested under the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2000 (FOISA). Access to information in archives held
by NAS that are not otherwise accessible in the search rooms may
also be requested under FOISA. There is a separate charging structure
for requests for information that is not included in the publication
3.2 Under the legislation, public authorities may charge for providing
information if the cost to the authority is more than £100
but £600 or less. Above that limit, public authorities may
opt either to charge or to refuse to provide the information. Further
guidance is available from the Office of the Scottish Information
3.3 In line with Scottish Government policy, the NAS will not charge
for providing information where the cost of doing so falls below
the upper cost limit of £600. Further information about charging
be found in the Freedom of Information section of the NAS website.
3.3 Please submit your requests to the Freedom of Information Officer,
National Archives of Scotland, HM General Register House, Edinburgh,
EH1 3YY; or firstname.lastname@example.org; or telephone: 0131 535 1371. There are
rights under FOISA and EIR to request a review of applications for
information and thereafter to appeal to the Scottish Information
Commissioner. Guidance is available on the Basic Guide to Freedom
of Information in Scotland which is published on the NAS website.
Further details are included on the website of the Office of the
Scottish Information Commissioner.
in the publication scheme
4.1 The information in this scheme is published on our website and
can be downloaded. Copies of this information can also be requested
in person, by post or e-mail. If requested, we will provide the
information in alternative formats, such as translations or audio.
4.2 Information on the website is free of charge although you will
of course have to meet any charges by your Internet service provider,
personal printing costs, etc. If you dont have access to our
website, you can ask for a single print-out free of charge. If you
ask for multiple copies or large numbers of documents we may make
a charge (printing and photocopy charges will at be 10p per page).
If we make a charge we will tell you when you make your request
and ask you to pay in advance. Computer discs will be charged at
the rate of £1.00 per CD-Rom.
4.3 There are also a small number of publications for which NAS
makes a charge. These commercially produced publications will be
charged at the advertised retail price.