New exhibition tells 150 year-old story of Records Office


A new exhibition telling the 150 year old story of the men and women responsible for Scotland’s public records opens tomorrow at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh.

‘Recording Angels: Scottish Registrars since 1855’ uses previously unseen documents to tell the human story behind the millions of documents that record the lives of every person in Scotland.

In 1865, ten years after civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in Scotland, local registrars banded together to form the Association of Registrars of Scotland.

The records date back 150 years
The records date back 150 years


The Association is believed to be the oldest society of registrars in Europe, if not the world.

For the past 150 years the Association has worked with the Registrar General for Scotland to help shape modern registration practice, and supported registrars in their work of accurately recording life events of people in Scotland.

The Scottish Government, local authorities and the NHS use the detailed information in order to plan and provide public services. The Registrar General for Scotland oversees the work of local registrars, and the rich archive of registers they create is searchable through the official family history website ScotlandsPeople.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in the Scottish Government, said:

“Thanks to the hard work of forward-thinking registrars, Scotland’s rich social history has been preserved and recorded for the ages.

Their work underpins the delivery of vital services by the NHS in Scotland, by the Scottish Government and by local authorities, and has created a rich genealogical resource for everyone to use and enjoy.”

I’m delighted that the National Records of Scotland is marking over 150 years of co-operation between the Registrar General for Scotland and local registrars in delivering a service that directly benefits people in Scotland every day.”