Using the Service

Visit Us

The Archive Service is situated on the first floor of AK Bell Library and has space for four to six researchers. You do not need an appointment, but it is helpful to get in touch before you visit with details of your research interest and any records you would like to consult. This will allow staff to prepare records for you in advance and make best use of your visit time.

We ask all Archive users to follow our Search-room Guidelines to help preserve the archives for future generations. Please have a look at these before you visit.

Some records have access restrictions due to data protection restrictions or because they are too fragile to handle without causing damage. The Archive catalogue normally identifies records with access restrictions and staff will also let you know.

Archives are covered by copyright law. However, most records can be copied for personal study or educational use, except those which are very fragile or have copyright restrictions. If you require copies for any other purpose, you will need to get permission from the copyright owner – Archive staff can help with this but cannot do it for you. You can make copies using your mobile phone or camera, or you can ask Archive staff to make copies for you. There is a small charge for both services, you will find details in the Fees and Charges section below. If you take your own copies, you must follow our guidelines for self-service photography.

Research Service

We are always happy to give advice about using our collections and can undertake quick catalogue and record checks free of charge. If you have an enquiry, you can contact us by phone, e-mail or post. Please provide as much relevant information as possible, to make best use of our time.

For enquiries which take longer than half an hour, a research fee of £23.50 per half hour will be charged. We will let you know if your enquiry is likely to incur a charge before we begin your research and will provide an estimate of the likely time and costs. Where enquiries involve reproduction, this will incur an additional cost. Further details about our charges are given in the Fees and Charges section below.

Fees and Charges

Access to the Archive is free, but there are charges for making copies of records and for staff-facilitated research over 30 minutes.


£23.50 per half hour, £47 per hour (first half hour free)

Copying Material 

The Archive Service looks after unique and fragile collections. Copying of material is subject to copyright regulations and is only permitted if it will not cause damage to the collections. We no longer supply photocopies, but offer self-service photography and other alternatives – please see below for details.

Self-Service Photography

Researchers may photograph documents using their own cameras or mobile phones, subject to the condition of the records and copyright regulations. For the safety of the records, hand-held scanners and cameras with detachable lenses are not permitted. Please note, self-service photography is not available for planning decision notices – for further details please see Planning and Building Control Records, below. Self-service Photography Licenses can be purchased at the following costs:

1 Image – £1.50

1 Day – £12.00

1 Week – £24.00

1 Month – £48.00

1 Year – £125.00

Copying Undertaken by Staff

High Resolution images are digitised at 300dpi for documents and 600 dpi for photographs and illustrations. Low Resolution images are digitised at 72 dpi. Where digital images already exist, customers will be charged the ‘supply’ cost only; where no digital image exists, customers will be charged the ‘new photography’ and ‘supply’ charges. Images for publication will also incur a License Fee, please see our Publishing Guidelines [pdf] and CPK fees and charges [link] for more details.

New High Resolution photography (up to A3) – £25 per item

New Low Resolution photography (up to A3) – £5 per item

New Photography (over A3) – Price on application and subject to the condition of the original item.

Supply of High Resolution digital image – £45 per image

Supply of Low Resolution digital image – £2.50 per image

Planning and Building Control Records

Copy of planning or building control decision (reference provided) – £45

Planning or building control application search (no reference provided) includes 1.5hrs research plus copies of decision notices and building warrant reference numbers – £125.

Collecting Policy

The Archive Collecting Policy outlines our collecting interests, including our statutory responsibilities, the types of records that we collect and how we acquire them. We have two broad collecting areas:

  • Records of Perth & Kinross Council and its predecessors.
  • Records of people, families, estates, societies, organisations, institutions, industry and business which relate to Perth & Kinross and are of legal, historical or cultural significance. We are particularly keen to add records from minority communities and young people.

We do not collect records that relate to areas outside Perth & Kinross but can often direct you to a more appropriate local authority or specialist archive. We do not usually collect printed material or photographs unless they form part of an archive collection or relate to collections already held in the Archive. The Local & Family History Service is the more appropriate place for this type of material. Culture Perth and Kinross’ Museums Team also collects photographic material alongside museum objects and works of art.

Depositing Records

We are always pleased to consider new collections to add to the Archive. If you have material that you think may be of interest, please contact us anytime via email or call us during opening hours. We will be in touch to discuss the details with you and arrange a convenient time for deposit. Please do not bring material into the Archive without an appointment. We need to carefully manage incoming collections and ensure that an Archivist is available to oversee this.

If we accept your collection, we will ask you to sign a deposit agreement giving us authority to look after it. Our Terms and Conditions of Deposit explains more about this process and how your records will be managed and cared for.

Service update

From Tuesday 18th June the Archive will close for lunch from 12pm to 1pm, Tuesdays to Fridays. Archive staff and records will not be available during this time, but researchers can do self-directed study using secondary resources. The Local & Family History Service will remain open as usual. The Archive’s Saturday hours are unchanged (9.30am to 12.30pm).