We hold the official historical records of the Council and its previous authorities. We also have records about the Edinburgh area created by individuals, businesses, societies, clubs and organisations.
Our aim is to preserve these records and let the public use them for their research, although some records may be confidential for a time by law.
Using the archive
You cannot borrow records, only view them in our search room or contact us to ask if we can look for information for you. Please note that not all our records are stored on site. Also, we don’t have a copier but we do let people take pictures of our records.
You can download the rules about using the archive below, which may save you time when you visit.
Where we are
The archive is on the Royal Mile in central Edinburgh. We are in the main City Chambers building opposite St Giles Cathedral.
We are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9am -1pm and 2pm - 4.30pm
Visit in person
Please bring photo ID with you each time, and a pencil, not a pen, for notes.
Please also bring any record reference numbers you already know.
Please tell us a week before you come which records you would like, as some of them are stored out of town.
Written or phone enquiries
We get lots of enquiries, so we can only spend so much time on each one. However, if we can’t answer you in full, we will suggest other resources that might help you.