18 July 2024
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Wills and testaments



Preserving Scotland’s written heritage
Since 1999 the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) has been digitising Scottish historical records on a huge scale, in order to preserve the original records and to make digital surrogates more widely available.

Most of this work has been done in conjunction with the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU).

  Digital imaging of historical records at the NAS

Between 2000 and 2004 SCAN digitised all 520,000 surviving wills and testaments registered in Scottish commissary courts and sheriff courts from 1500 to 1901: in total more than 2 million images.

Read more about wills and testaments and the SCAN project.

Currently, the NAS, in partnership with the Church of Scotland and the GSU, is making digital copies of the records of kirk sessions, presbyteries, synods and the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from the sixteenth century to 1901. The project has captured about 5 million pages from original records. The digital surrogates will be used to replace public access to the original records, ensuring that these important historical records will be preserved. The digital copies will also be available in multiple locations in Scotland and, eventually, worldwide over the Internet.

Download our projected timescale: online access to church records <Acrobat PDF 32Kb, opens in new window>.

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The National Records of Scotland, H.M. General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY; tel +44 (0)131 535 1314; email:
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