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Our collection

The resources listed below are all available in the Information Centre of Aberdeen Central Library.

Silver City Vault Logo Small

However, if you would like to explore some of our collections from the comfort of home, why not visit The Silver City Vault (SCV) which contains historic images of Aberdeen, along with thousands of records from various sources. The appeal of SCV is not restricted purely to Aberdeen and the website is accessible from anywhere in the world.

Simply click on the link above to start exploring...

Please note: All genealogical resources are listed on our Family History webpage.

All our resources

Local Studies Information Centre Books and Pamphlets:

Our book stock ranges from sixteenth century early printed books to the latest local publications and covers the whole spectrum of local studies:

  • Parish and local histories
  • Biographies and family history
  • Education, literature and architecture
  • Local authority minutes and development plans
  • Electoral and valuation rolls

Local Studies newspapers

Newspapers and Periodicals:

  • An extensive collection of historical newspapers on microfilm, covering not only Aberdeen City but also Aberdeenshire, Banffshire and Kincardineshire. View or download our Newspaper Holdings on Microfilm leaflet (PDF - 1.4MB).
  • A substantial news cuttings collection file covering both people and topics from the late 19th Century.
  • Digitised versions of historic newspapers available from home: 19th Century British Library Newspapers and The Scotsman Digital Archive.
  • Free access to the  British Newspaper Archive website in all library buildings. 
  • Various local periodicals, both historical and current, such as The Deeside Field, Leopard Magazine, Northern Scotland and Roustabout.
See our Newspapers and Periodicals leaflet (PDF - 696KB) for more information.
Local Studies maps Maps:
  • Approximately 2,500 maps and plans, including 2,000 current and historical Ordnance Survey (OS) sheets. The collection also includes historic street plans and views, goad plans, architectural drawings, feuing plans, geological land and soil maps, admiralty charts...
  • Areas covered: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, Kincardineshire, Scotland.
  • Scales: from very large scales to smallest scales.
  • Dates: Earlier plans from mid-17th Century to present.


See our Maps and Plans leaflet (PDF - 1.02MB) for more information.



  • Local Studies Photographs An extensive collection of historical photographs covering buildings, streets and harbour scenes in the City.
  • Many images by pioneering Aberdonian photographer George Washington Wilson. 
  • A photographic record of air-raid damage suffered by Aberdeen during World War Two.
  • A unique collection of fishing vessels including herring drifters and steam trawlers.
  • Free access to SCRAN, an award-winning learning website with over 360,000 images, videos and sounds from museums, galleries and archives. It covers a wide range of subjects including local history, architecture, fashion and much more. This database is available remotely to users with a current library card.
  • A complete file of the Aberdeen Post Office Directory (1824-1982) and the Aberdeen Almanac (1753-1933, early years incomplete), succeeded by the Northern Year Book (1934-1952).


  • All Local Studies books and pamphlets added to stock after 1993 can be found on the Library Catalogue online.
  • For items in stock prior to 1993, check the Local Studies card catalogue in the Information Centre, Central Library. Please contact Local Studies if you need to check a title is in stock.

Please note: non-book formats are not included in the catalogues.


  • Enquiries:

The Local Studies team can provide advice and information about the resources held at the library. Enquiries can be made by email, telephone, letter or at the library.

For complex enquiries, please view or download our Local Studies Charging Policy - April 2012 (PDF - 92KB).

  • Photocopying:

Please note that no photocopying of Local Studies stock is permitted without first consulting a member of the Local Studies team. Our collections are delicate and must be protected from the damage caused by photocopying. Your co-operation in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Local Studies Microfilm readers Please note: Reproduction restrictions apply to all material within copyright..

  • Microfilm Readers/Printers:

Copies can be made from material held on microfilm but please note that the quality of copies can vary. We do not operate an advance booking system for the microfilm readers but during busy periods, sessions will be limited to 1 hour maximum.

  • Computer Access:

Dedicated PCs provide access to websites relating to family history and local studies information sources. Access is free but print-out costs apply.

  • Photographic Reproduction:

We can supply digital copies of images from our collection. Please consult the "Ordering Images" section on the The Silver City Vault website for more information.

Price List for Digital Copies (including VAT at 20%):





Digital print (matte / glossy)



Digital print (matte / glossy)



Digital print (matte / glossy)


Digital Image


5.00 per image

Please note: VAT is not applied to overseas customers outside the EU. Written permission must be obtained for the reproduction of any historical images, and a reproduction fee of 50.00 is normally payable.

Back to Local Studies home page.