The archives consist of 160 staff divided into two divisions: Records services (government records and court/legal records) and Cooperate services (Finance/Administration, Information and Communication Technology, Conservation Services and Reader Services).
A repository for the public records of Scotland was first proposed in 1722, but it was not until 1789 that the General Register House was completed and opened. Following the construction of the General Register House two other buildings were opened to help house the massive collection: The West Register House(1971) and the Thomas Thomson House(1994).
The archives offer a public research room on the 1st floor open to the public and is highly utilized for historical research. The archives also offers all of the genealogical records online for those unable to come visit in person. Although some records can be retrieved for a small fee, for some, this is worth it. These records include:
- Access to Scottish Wills - 1500-1901
- Digitized records of the Church of Scotland
- Birth, Death and Marriage records
The Collection contains many archival treasures dating back to the Charter of King David I(1127). Also among these treasures include: the Great Seal Records(1315-present), the Declaration of Arbroath(1320), the Articles of Union(1706) and the marriage certificate of Mary, Queen of Scots.
The Archives also offer many websites to the community for their research: