Information for researchers

The Business Archives Council of Scotland does not hold the records of business or industry but is happy to provide advice to researchers on potential sources of information that will help their research.

Many important collections of business records are held by public archives and are easily accessible. This section of the site provides links to useful websites and sources of information. 

If you have a specific query about business archives or require help locating suitable records, please contact us at and we will do our best to help.

Owners right to control access to material

Please remember that in most cases there is no statutory right of access to business records.  If archives are in the private possession of families, individuals or businesses, and even if a survey of the records has been completed and sent to the National Register of Archives (Scotland), they are still the possessions of the holder, who is completely within their rights to deny access to the documents. This can be for a number of reasons: lack of space to make the material available without disruption to their work; commercial confidentiality; current use of the material for business purposes by their own staff or a lack of supervisory personnel.

Sometimes, material is held within a public archive service for safekeeping but ownership is retained by the organisation. Access may also be denied for reasons that should be clearly defined e.g. commercial confidentiality.