Visitor Information & Contact Details

Our opening hours are as follows:

  • Old Aberdeen House: Monday-Wednesday, 9:30-12:30, 13:30-16:30. 
  • Town House: Wednesday-Friday, 9:30-12:30, 13:30-16:30.

We advise making an appointment to ensure you visit the correct site and there is sufficient space in the searchroom. To book a place, please fill out this booking form, and a member of staff will be in touch to confirm your booking. Please contact us by email if you are unsure which site you need to visit. Alternatively you can call 01224 523129 or 01224 481775. 

Please note the following periods where the service is closed:

  • Stocktake fortnight 20th November - 1st December 2023
  • Christmas Holidays 25th December 2023 - 2nd January 2024
  • Friday 29th March 2024 (Good Friday)
  • Monday 6th May 2024 (May Day Bank Holiday)
  Town House Old Aberdeen House

Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AQ
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Dunbar Street, Old Aberdeen, AB24 3UJ
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Council Switchboard: 03000 200 292 (option 6)

Search room: 01224 523129

01224 481775
Searchroom opening hours

Wednesday to Friday
9.30 am to 4.30pm (lunchtime closure 12.30-1.30pm)

Monday to Wednesday
9.30am to 4.30pm (lunchtime closure 12:30-1.30pm)
  • reference library
  • information leaflets
  • internet access, including free access to Deceased Online and access to Kirk Session records
  • laptop facilities
  • reference library
  • information leaflets
  • internet access, including free access to Deceased Online and access to Kirk Session records
  • laptop facilities
Getting here

A number of buses stop on Aberdeen's Union Street and Broad Street. 

For morning appointments, the archive is accessed through the Town House Extension reception at the corner of Broad Street and Queen Street.

For afternoon appointments, the archive is accessed through the side door on Union Street. You will need to call our Town House search room for access when you arrive. 

No car park is available on site, but the Town House is close to a number of city centre car parks. 

The number 20 bus travels down St Machar Drive close to Old Aberdeen House. The number 1, 1B, 2, 50,  53, 53A, 61, 68, 290, 291, X60, X67 and X68 buses travel down King Street close to Old Aberdeen House (ask for the St Machar Drive stop). The 8 and 19 buses stop near to the University on Bedford Road, a short walk away from Old Aberdeen House.

Turn right into the first entrance for the carpark of St Peter's RC School, we're located on the right hand side/corner of the building.

Free car parking is available onsite. 

Before you visit the Archives, you can find out what we have that might be useful to your research on our Online Catalogue or using our Guides and Indexes. If you see something you want to look at, note its reference number, title and covering dates and contact us to make an appointment.

If you haven't found anything on our Catalogue (it is a work in progress) or if you're not sure what we have that could help your research, please contact us with your query via email or telephone.

Preparing for your visit

It helps if you do the following:

  • Bring as many of your notes with you as you can!
  • Think about what you're aiming for in your research - what do you want to find? Try and focus on one person / research interest at a time before moving on to the next.
  • If you are looking at a large date range, try and narrow it down - this saves you having to look through multiple volumes with the same information (and reduces unnecessary handling of the collections).
  • Bring some notepaper, a pencil and a rubber - pens cannot be used in the searchroom.
  • You can bring your own digital camera to take copies - there will be a small charge for using your camera - details of our charges are available via our Table of Fees or on request.
  • You can bring your laptop / tablet / iPad.

We will get any items you have requested in advance out ready for you on the day of your visit, but you can ask for more materials on the day. 

In the searchroom

When you make an appointment to visit, you will be asked to comply with our Searchroom Guidelines: 

Failure to do so may result in you being refused access to the searchroom. You may be asked to provided identification in order to access some records covered by the Data Protection Act: you will be advised about this when you make your appointment. 

If you would like to take photographs of collection items during your visit, you will need to fill out a copyright form and pay a self service copy fee. 

Some records may only give you a small amount of information, or even what may look to be incorrect information.  This is because the archives we hold were (on the whole) created for administrative purposes, and would have served an administrative function when they were being used.  Records created annually, for example, only show information from a particular time of the year and not any changes which happened throughout the year. 

Above all, we want you to get the most out of your visit! Staff are always available to answer any questions you might have both before and during your visit. If you are unsure of what you are looking at, please ask, we will be happy to help!

If you are planning on staying for a whole day, please note that neither office has facilities for you to eat your own lunch on site. Both sites have a number of cafes nearby. 

The office at Old Aberdeen is on the ground floor but there is a small lip at the door of the building, which some wheelchair users may require assistance navigating. Please note that there is no accessible toilet on site.

The office in the Town House is on the third floor so we may need to make alternative access arrangements, particularly for larger wheelchairs that may not fit in the lift, in a more accessible part of the building. Please contact us and we can make arrangements. 


A car park is available at Old Aberdeen House, although it can get busy. A number of city centre car parks are available close to the Town House branch. Disabled parking is available on site: please let us know in advance to access this car parking.

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