Highland Archive Centre

Highland Archive Centre

Discover your Scottish roots

If you’re a history enthusiast, genealogist, or someone with a keen interest in the rich heritage of the Scottish Highlands, a visit to the Highland Archive Centre in Inverness should be at the top of your itinerary. Indeed, the archive is what draws many visitors to Inverness as it is a hub where they can discover stories about their family history. This state-of-the-art facility is a hotspot of historical records, offering a fascinating glimpse into Scotland’s past.

Highland ancestry

The Highland Archive Centre is a ten-minute drive or a pleasant 40-minute walk from the Kingsmills Hotel. The walk takes you across the Ness Islands, giving you plenty of time to get in the right headspace to undertake family research.

A magnifying glass sits on top of library records.

When you get there, the centre provides access to a vast array of genealogical records. They have helped people from all over the world discover their family stories and lineages. It’s a great opportunity to make use of parish registers and census records, and discover old estate papers which can help identify where our ancestors lived, worked and died. Many documents date back several centuries and are of vital importance in documenting the way of live back then. They let us understand how the Highlands have evolved, and how the people who lived and loved here have changed too. 

Records available at the Highland Archive Centre

The Highland Archive Centre offers a range of documents for researchers, including:

  • Parish Registers: Baptisms, marriages, and burials dating back to the 16th century
  • Census Records: Detailed records from the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Valuation Rolls: Property records that provide insights into historical land ownership and occupancy
  • Estate Papers: Documents related to the major estates of the Highlands

The centre offers space to research Highlands history in the Family History Room. Here, you are welcome to spend time looking into your past and even use the expertise of staff. 

There are also regular special exhibitions that highlight different aspects of Highland history. These exhibitions often feature rare documents, photographs, and artefacts from the archives, providing a thematic exploration of topics such as the Highland Clearances, local industries, and cultural heritage.

Books on a table being written on.

Planning your visit

It is highly recommended that you plan your visit in advance of arriving. This means any documents you are keen to see are ready and waiting for you. Anything you need to pay for, including in-person family history consultations, can be booked and you can be assured of time spent with an expert. 

Do also be aware that the Highland Archive Centre’s opening hours for the public are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10.00 am – 4.30 pm.

We also recommend you book your stay at Kingsmills at the same time to ensure availability with us. Take a look at our special offers for staying with us in Inverness

Enjoy a history break in Inverness

After a day immersing yourself in Scottish history, head back to our hotel to put your feet up. Enjoy a delicious Scottish meal in one of our two restaurants and then sample one of our most famous exports in our Whisky Bar. Get in touch below to choose your perfect room or give our friendly team a call on +44 (0) 1463 257 100 for more information.

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