Trades & Business collections


The Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen (which comprises the Hammermen, Bakers, Wrights, Tailors, Shoemakers, Weavers and Fleshers) maintain their own archive.

The records of the Aberdeen Dyers or Litster's Society are held by the NRS in Edinburgh under the reference E870/4.

The Town House archives hold record for the Hammermen, Weaver and Tailor, Glover and Flesher Trades of Old Aberdeen (reference DD71). 

The Old Aberdeen House archives hold records for the Banff Incorporation of Shoemakers (reference DD2880). 

Those practicing a craft or trade in a royal burgh would usually have had to become burgesses of that burgh, so Burgess records can also be explored.

For Aberdeen we have a registers of indentures of apprentices, which record those apprenticed to either merchants or craftsmen between 1622 and 1878. An index is available online here: Aberdeen Burgh Registers of Apprentices Indexes.


Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives holds the records of a number of local businesses: key collections are listed below. Please consult our online catalogue for more details about these collections (either via the link in the catalogue reference column, or by using the advanced search and enter the catalogue reference given below in the RefNo field to find the collection level description: add a * to bring up all the entries for the collection). Please contact us to arrange to view any records of interest.

Catalogue Reference Business Office
AHB Aberdeen Harbour Board Old Aberdeen House
HR Hall Russell and Alexander Hall & Co Ltd, shipbuilders, Aberdeen Town House
NORCO Northern Co-operative Society Ltd, Aberdeen Held off site, a week's notice needed for access
DM Duncan & Munro, architects, Turriff Old Aberdeen House
GBM George Bennett Mitchell & Son, architects, Aberdeen Old Aberdeen House
DD31 John Blaikie, plumber, Aberdeen Town House
DD41, DD69, DD786 Aberdeen Market Company Town House
DD49 Lewis Smith & Son, booksellers, printers and stationers, Aberdeen Town House
DD56 George Donald & Sons Ltd, glass, paint and wallpaper merchants, Aberdeen Held off site, a week's notice needed for access
DD57 John Fyfe, quarry and granite mechants, Aberdeen (including records of Rubislaw Granite Co Ltd, quarry proprietors and merchants, Aberdeen) Town House
DD70 Scottish Salmon and White Fish Company Ltd (Scot Sal), Aberdeen Town House
DD93 Banchory Gas Company Town House
DD97 William Smith & Son Ltd, seed merchants, Hazlehead Town House
DD163 Aberdeen New Gas Light Company Town House
DD286 Aberdeen Property Investment Building Society Old Aberdeen House
DD414 Macqueen & Findlater, solicitors, Aberdeen Old Aberdeen Houes
DD527 WJC Reed & Sons, solicitors Laurencekirk, including records of Laurencekirk Lighting Society Limited Old Aberdeen House
DD896 Berrywell Stores, grocers, Dyce Old Aberdeen House
DD1066 North Eastern Agricultural Co-operative Society, later North Eastern Farmers Old Aberdeen House
DD1066A Northern Agricultural and Lime Co. Ltd. and predecessors, Aberdeen Old Aberdeen House
DD1189 Glegg & Thomson Ltd, ironmongers and steel stockholders, Aberdeen Old Aberdeen House
DD1231 Esslemont & Macintosh Ltd, retail and wholesale drapers and warehousemen Town House

Huntly Property Investment & Building Society, Huntly

Old Aberdeen House
DD1514 John Shirras, traction engine owner, Auchinblae Old Aberdeen House
DD1551 Lawson, Turnbull & Co Ltd, plumbers' merchants and electrical factors, Aberdeen Town House
DD1744 Richards Ltd, flax spinners and manufacturers, Broadford Works, Aberdeen Old Aberdeen House
DD1745 Donside Paper Company Ltd, paper manufacturers, Aberdeen Town House
DD1837 John Robertson (Canisters) Ltd, Aberdeen Town House
DD1905 Aberdeen Combworks Co. Ltd, comb manufacturers Town House
DD1917 John Fleming & Co. Ltd, sawmill and timber merchant, Aberdeen Town House
DD2865 Richard Irvin & Sons Limited, trawler owners and fish salesmen, Aberdeen, Peterhead and North Shields Old Aberdeen House
DD3295 Aberdeen Steam Fishing Vessels Owners' Association Ltd Old Aberdeen House
PD2 Gray & Gray, solicitors, Peterhead (includes records of James Sutherland (Peterhead) Limited, bus operators) Old Aberdeen House
PD3/2 Allan, Buckley, Allan & Co, solicitors, Aberdeen, including Nairn Fishing Co. Ltd, Nairn Old Aberdeen House
PD20 William Spence (Huntly) Ltd, knitwear manufacturers, Huntly Old Aberdeen House
PD59 Sellers, salmon fishers, Macduff Old Aberdeen House
PD68 Buckie Gas Light Company Old Aberdeen House
uncatalogued Kincardineshire Auction Mart Ltd, cattle dealers, Laurencekirk Held off site, a week's notice needed for access
uncatalogued Brookes Limited, granite merchants, Pittodrie Town House

Edward Copland, painter, decorator and stained glass window maker, Aberdeen

Town Hoes

McCombie & Mennie, architects, Inverurie

Old Aberdeen House
uncatalogued Farquhar & Gill, paint, oil and wallpaper manufacturers, Aberdeen Held off site, a week's notice needed for access

William L Gavin Ltd, grain millers, Peterculter

Old Aberdeen House
uncatalogued Allenvale Granite Works, Aberdeen Old Aberdeen House

Joseph Brown, stonemason, Banff

Old Aberdeen House
uncatalogued John M Henderson (Machines) Ltd, engineers, Aberdeen Old Aberdeen House

The University of Aberdeen Special Collections Centre also hold many collections for North East businesses. You can also check on the UK National Archives Discovery (use the Advanced Search/Record Creator option) or the National Register of Archives for Scotland to find records held in other record offices around the UK. Historic Post Office Directories may provide you with some basic information about a business and are available to view online on the National Library of Scotland's website. 

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