Online resources: local and family history

Many digital resources are available at the library to support research into local and family history. Visit the Local Studies page for more information about the service.

These free online resources/services are provided to library members for educational, research and other non-commercial uses only, in line with each resource's Terms and Conditions. Please see individual services for specific terms of use statements.


Genealogical records

Ancestry Library Edition is one of the world's biggest and best commercial family history services. The library edition provides access to all of the records but does not feature some of the options possible with an individual account.
Access only from Aberdeen City Libraries.
Download the user guide:

Find My Past is a major online commercial family history resource, where it is possible to create an account for personalised features (family tree and saving searches).
Access only from Aberdeen City Libraries.
Download the user guide:



Iconographic documents and photographs are useful to see the changes in the urban and rural landscape and to illustrate your family history research.

SCRAN is 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. Access from anywhere.
Download the user guide:

The Silver City Vault is the library's online archive of historic photographs and documents relating to Aberdeen. Take a trip through time to learn about local history, trace an ancestor or simply browse through a selection of fascinating images. Access from anywhere.
Download the user guide:


Maps, plans and directories

With maps and plans, you can find where your ancestors lived and trace the history of a given place. They give a very clear and immediate picture of the changes that have taken place in an area over time.

NLS Map Images website provides free access to a collection of digitised historic maps, with a wide coverage, including Aberdeen City, the United Kingdom and some foreign countries. Access from anywhere.
Download the user guide:


Post Office Directories give an alphabetical list of Aberdeen's inhabitants involved in trade. Individuals are listed under their name, their occupation and the street they lived or worked in. However not all residents are listed. Directories can help you learn about where family members lived and worked, as well as their trade or profession.

Aberdeen Post Office directories (1824–1911) have been digitised by the National Library of Scotland and are freely available on their website. Access from anywhere.

Online Resources - eBooks, eMagazines and newspapers

Newspapers record birth and marriage announcements, death notices and obituaries as well as news articles about incidents and achievements. They can provide greater detail and photographs to enhance research and capture the attitudes of the time. See our Online Resources page to explore our digital newspapers, including The British Newspaper Archive, PressReader and UK Press Online.


Other useful links

The Scottish Local History Directory allows you to find resources and collections held by Scottish museums, archives, libraries, family and local history societies, individuals and specialist groups. The online directory is free to use.

The National Records of Scotland Research Guides provide useful information on how to access and use a wide range of historic records to explore your family and local history.

ScotlandsPeople is the only place on the web that images of many original Scottish historic records can be viewed. It is also the only online service with the 1911 and 1921 census for Scotland. The site is a pay-per-view credit based service. Aberdeen City Libraries cannot offer free or discounted use of the website.

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