Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Tracing your Family History

Edinburgh Central Library has many resources to help those who wish to search for their ancestors.

Generally speaking, if you think that your family comes from Edinburgh then the sources you should consult will be in the Edinburgh Room. If your family comes from elsewhere in Scotland, visit the Scottish Department.

For the rest of the UK, the Reference library has information available.

This guide describes some of the resources held in the Scottish Department and the Edinburgh Room, and concentrates mainly on Scottish family history, but help is also available for those whose ancestors may have been born in other parts of the UK.

Many of the resources listed here are only available on microfilm or microfiche, which require special machines to read them or make copies from them. The library has several of these machines but we do not operate a booking system, and we work on a first come first served basis. Copies from microfilm or fiche cost 20p per A4 sheet. There are also three coin-operated photocopiers and copies from these cost 15p per A4 sheet – please bring plenty of change!

We are happy to take enquiries, but unfortunately library staff are unable to undertake detailed family research.

The Scottish Department, the Edinburgh Room and the Reference library are open:
Monday – Thursday 10.00 am – 8.00 pm
Friday 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Saturday 9.00 am – 1.00 pm

Tel: 0131 242 8070 (Scottish Department)
Tel: 0131 242 8030 (Edinburgh Room)
Tel: 0131 242 8060 (Reference library)
e-mail :

for more go to the link on the rhs

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