The collections in the care of the National Archives of Scotland (NAS)
contain a wide range of organic materials such as paper, animal skins
and wax. They undergo a continual and natural ageing process. Handling
directly affects the life expectancy of the collections and accelerates
this ageing process.
Vulnerable, rare or fragile items can be transferred onto more resilient
and accessible media. In the interests of preservation, therefore,
we shall sometimes ask you to use a surrogate copy (e.g. a digital
image or microfilm) of the documents that you request, rather than
the originals. Subject to the condition of the originals, we are normally
happy to supply copies of documents. Where there are problems about
providing copies, we shall discuss these with you.
also asked to inform search room staff of any damage you notice
when consulting the records and to ask staff for assistance when
handling physically awkward records. A variety of different items
are available to help with accessing the collections, including
book cushions, book ‘snakes’, and weights. Please ask
staff if you require any of these.
Please handle all records as carefully as possible so that they
are preserved for future generations
We ask you to be careful when making notes. In particular, note
- Do not eat (including gum), drink, or smoke in our buildings.
Your hands should be clean when handling original documents.
You should take care to avoid touching the text of documents; acid-free
book marks are provided for your use.
The amount of original material that you may receive at any one
time is limited for security and preservation reasons. If these
limitations cause you inconvenience, speak to the staff.
You should take care to keep records securely and safely on the
Bound material can present problems and you are asked to make use
of the book cushions, supports and book ‘snakes’ available.
These help to avoid causing strain to bindings.
It may be possible to make tracings of plans, subject to their condition.
Please ask search room staff about this. Where this is permitted,
they will advise on procedures to follow .
You will need to wear cotton gloves when consulting photographic
material or rare and fragile documents.
Download a copy of the full
search room guidelines - Acrobat PDF 122KB, new window
use only a computer or a pencil; a sharpener is provided for your
take care not to mark the documents in any way
take care not to lean on the documents when making notes
only use an eraser for your notes; never use correction fluid
please use the acid-free bookmarks provided to mark your place
Thank you for your help and co-operation in preserving the archives.