Preparing for your visit
| In the National Archives of Scotland (NAS)
search rooms you can consult records without charge for purposes of
historical research, provided that you hold a current reader's ticket.
This page tells you how to obtain a ticket and what preparations to
make to get the most out of your visit.
- a reader's ticket is valid for up to 3 years.
- a reader's ticket will only be issued on your personal application at an NAS search room, after you have produced (a) photographic proof of your identity and (b) proof of your current address, such as a utility bill (please note items with handwritten address cannot be accepted).
- we have introduced a new style of reader’s ticket that incorporates a photograph. You will therefore be required to bring two passport sized colour photographs with you when you first visit.
- once issued, your ticket is valid in the Historical Search Room but not the Legal Search Room, although you may consult catalogues and indexes there.
- when entering the NAS's buildings, you must present your ticket. On your first visit, you will receive a temporary pass to allow you access to the search rooms to obtain your ticket.
- because your ticket acts as a security pass, its loss or any change of the details recorded on it must be reported to the NAS immediately.
- your ticket remains the property of the NAS. We may charge you for the replacement of a lost or mislaid ticket.
- unreasonable behaviour towards other readers or staff may result in the withdrawal of your reader's ticket.
Getting the most out of your visit
In order to get the most out of your visit to the National Archives
of Scotland (NAS):
- try to be clear what information you are seeking and what records
you want to see
- check that the records you are looking for are in the NAS. Some
other records, such as birth, death and marriage registers and
census returns are held
- make your search room visit more efficient by doing as much
remotely as possible
- consider whether there are published sources of information
on your topic, which might be found in libraries or on the Internet
- gather information on your specific topic. Your research will
be improved by bringing as much information with you as you can,
such as names of people you are interested in, dates and places
- bring a full note of any specific references that you find to
records held in the NAS or elsewhere
- check which search
room to visit and how
to get there
- bring appropriate identification to obtain a reader's ticket for yourself and anyone accompanying you
- if you hope to bring children under 16 years of age, please contact us in advance
- read our search
- if you have a disability, find out disabled
access to our search rooms