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National Records of Scotland



Although we’re unable to welcome you into our buildings for Doors Open Days 2023 this year, we hope we can connect with you virtually

National Records of Scotland (NRS) is a Non-Ministerial department of the Scottish Government. Our purpose is to collect, preserve and produce information about Scotland's people and history and make it available to inform current and future generations.

NRS performs the registration and statistical functions of the Registrar General for Scotland and the archival functions of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland, including maintaining the archives as one of Scotland’s five National Collections.

Our records span from the 12th to the 21st centuries, touching on virtually every aspect of Scottish life. We are the repository for the public and legal records of Scotland, but we also have many local and private archives. We hold and facilitate access to one of the most varied archive collections of records in Britain.

Our collections are held in four buildings in Edinburgh, two of which, Robert Adam’s Neoclassical General Register House (GRH) and Robert Mathieson’s Italianate New Register House (NRH), are Category A listed and outstanding examples of 18th and 19th century architecture. Adam’s elegant General Register House is one of the oldest purpose-built archive buildings still in use in the world.

The open courtyard between General Register House and New Register House is a unique garden planted with 58 plant species - all connected in some way to Scotland's collective memory, whether through myth and folklore, heraldry, or association with individual famous Scots.

Digital Events

A Virtual Visit

We will link to a digital animation of General Register House from the present day to the 18th century; a video tour of New Register House and a 3D scan of the Archivists’ Garden which will allow our users to explore the buildings and spaces remotely. These resources will also be promoted on our social media channels together with other material.

Find our more about our work by visiting NRS’ YouTube channel Learning playlist

Explore the blog here!

Key Information

Please note this is an online activity.

Where to find us

  • General Register House
  • 2 Princes St
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 3YY
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Programmes this building took part in: