North Lanarkshire Archives

Explore the historical records of North Lanarkshire

Filed under Local Network

The Archives are open Mon – Fri, 9:30am – 4:30pm, except for Wednesdays, 10:30am – 4:30pm.

North Lanarkshire Archives collects and preserves the historical records of North Lanarkshire, covering the areas of Airdrie, Bellshill, Coatbridge, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth, Motherwell, Shotts, Stepps and Wishaw.

This unique resource is there for you to use – free of charge.

Visit the archives to research your family history, the history of your house or your local area. Enquiries are welcomed by telephone, e-mail and letter, via the contact details below.

North Lanarkshire Archives are situated in North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre, High Road, Motherwell, just a short walk from Motherwell Railway Station.

About the collections

North Lanarkshire Archives hold over 200 collections, including:

Official records:

  • Council minutes of former burghs, wards and district councils
  • Historical records of the Cumbernauld Development Corporation
  • Cemetery records
  • Poor law records
  • School records
  • Building warrant plans

Private collections:

  • Estate papers, including Hamilton of Dalzell, Drumpellier and Cumbernauld
  • Business collections include William Baird & Co, at one time the largest ironworks in Scotland; Anderson Boyes & Co Ltd, producers of mining equipment; and Thomas Hudson & Co Ltd, manufacturers of boilers and structural ironworks
  • Records of societies and clubs reflecting the wide range of political, cultural, social and leisure activities carried out by local people
  • Papers of private individuals and families
  • Large photographic collections covering the entire area of North Lanarkshire
  • An extensive map collection

Information about the resources can also be accessed at the Scottish Archive Network website link at the right of this page. Free access to the website is available in the search room.

Search Room

  • The Archives’ search room is open to all members of the public free of charge.
  • An appointment is not essential and records will be produced on demand.
  • If you make an appointment, we can let you know whether we hold the material in which you are interested, carry out preliminary searches for you and have records ready for you when you arrive.
  • Resources available at the search room are: the Archives’ catalogues, a reference library, and public access computers.
  • If you’re unable to come to the search room, 30 minutes of FREE research will be made on your behalf by staff. A maximum of two hours research can be carried out on your behalf, which there is a charge for after the first 30 minutes.
  • A range of photocopies, plan copies, scans and photographic reprints can be provided – prices available on request.

Outreach and Learning

The Archives Service is committed to raising awareness about the collections, the work that they carry out, and their role in preserving and making accessible the historical records of the North Lanarkshire Council area.

They are also committed to illustrating the variety of ways in which archives can be used. To do this they offer a number of outreach activities, including:

  • Talks to local groups, societies and the general public
  • Exhibitions throughout the year with others within the Museums and Heritage Service
  • Conducting group visits around our repository
  • Displays in other CultureNL facilities

Talks on different topics within the archives may also be available upon request, as well as a workshop for schools, ‘What’s in the archives?’

Volunteers and placements

Voluntary work experience placements and volunteering roles are available through the Archives, covering a range of topics from archives and records management, indexing and listing. Please get in touch on the details below for more details.

Family history

Information on births, marriages and deaths is held by the National Records of Scotland, which is also searchable through the Scotland’s People website – both links are available on the right.

Airdrie and Motherwell local studies libraries can assist and have many early records, pre 1855, freely available on microfilm. A wealth of information including poor law, cemetery and school records are available in the Archives to further family history research.

Lanarkshire Family History Society are a fantastic resource for those wanting to find out more about their local family history – please see the link below.

North Lanarkshire Council Archives and Management Service

North Lanarkshire Council also keep documents of historic interest and importance. Please visit the link on the right to find out more.

Contact details

North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre: 01698 274 590

North Lanarkshire Archives: 01698 274 597

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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