Scottish Business Archive


We hold internationally important collections of business records covering the whole of Scotland and beyond dating from the 18th century to the present.  These reflect the contribution and breadth of activity that Scotland’s business, industry and enterprise has made, and continues to make, to the world economy.

The Scottish Business Archive covers almost all types of business and industrial activity in Scotland and the UK with over 400 collections from banking, confectioners and distillers to retail, solicitors and undertakers. Our holdings are particularly strong in relation to industrial concerns in the west of Scotland such as shipbuilding, railway locomotive manufacture, textiles and mining. They contain a wide variety of records including minute books, financial ledgers, legal documents, marketing material, production papers, staff records and photographs, providing invaluable insights into all areas of business activity.

Further information about the history of the Scottish Business Archive.

Featured Collections

The featured collections section highlights some of the collections held by the Scottish Business Archive, including the House of Fraser Archive, James Finlay & Co and the Stoddard-Templeton.


Search for businesses and organisations.


These guides list the main collections we hold, of records of businesses and organisations, which are relevant to the following research topics:

For a comprehensive list of all our research guides, please go to A-Z of guides.

Sources elsewhere

Post Office Directories for Scotland for up to 1912 are available online courtesy of the National Library of Scotland.