Q. Does the online catalogue hold all of your collections?
A. No. Some of our collections have paper lists still to be transferred online. Additionally, some records will not be visible due to closure periods. If you can't find what you're looking for on the catalogue, please contact us for more detailed information on our collections. You can see an overview of the collections we hold on the individual Centre web pages, at
Highland Archive Centre, Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archive, Lochaber Archive Centre and Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre.
Q. How do I search?
A. Find useful searching tips under How to Search the Catalogue in the top right-hand menu.
Q. Can I access all these records at any of the Archive Centres?
A. No. If an archive is held in Caithness, Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archive is the only Archive Centre it can be accessed. If you are not able to visit a particular Centre, we can carry out a remote enquiry on your behalf. This is a chargeable service. Please contact us for more information. Please remember that due to current circumstances relating to Covid-19, visits to our Centres must be booked in advance.
Q. Can I get copies?
A. We can usually provide copies of most of our records if they are for personal use. Some records cannot be copied for various reasons and any records to be used for publishing can carry additional conditions and charges. Staff can advise on specific records.
Q. Are your records digitised?
A. We do not currently have a program of digitisation for our records. We are responsible for a large volume of records and we are currently prioritising cataloguing new collections and making these lists accessible online before providing access to records digitally.
Q. I know you have something, but I can't find it in the catalogue. Why?
A. Not all of our holdings are in our electronic catalogue yet. The catalogue is updated regularly, however as we care for hundreds of thousands of records this will be an ongoing process. For information on specific collections you can contact us directly.
Q. How do I view records I find on the catalogue?
A. You can come into the relevant Archive Centre and present the reference numbers of the documents you would like to view to Archive staff. If you are not able to visit in person, you can contact the relevant Centre with the reference numbers and staff can undertake a remote enquiry on your behalf. This is a chargeable service.
Q. What area does the Highland Archive Service cover?
A. Generally, we cover the mainland Highland region that comes under the jurisdiction of the Highland Council – this includes the historic counties of Inverness-shire, Nairn, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland and Caithness. Historically, areas of Argyllshire and Morayshire have come under Highland jurisdiction after various boundary changes so we hold some pre-1975 records pertaining to areas now outside of the Highland Council area. Additionally, pre-1975, the Western Isles were formerly included in the Counties of Ross and Cromarty and Inverness-shire, meaning we have some County-level information relating to the Western Isles. However, any records that could be separated from the main County series are now held at Tasglann nan Eilean in Stornoway.