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All our staffed properties, sites and offices, including the HES Archives and Library, are currently closed, but we’re working on plans to gradually reopen. In the meantime, you can access our services online. Find out more.

Scheduled Website Maintenance 14/07/20 00:00 – 04:00GMT – There will be periods of time during this window when this website will be unavailable.

Search Room


Due to an upgrade of the fire detection equipment, access to view the archive collection will be limited until March 2020.

The Archive Search Room and Library will remain open, but is it essential to complete our online form or phone us on 0131 662 1456. Please allow 7 days notice to ensure that material is available to view on your visit.

Please note that some material may be unavailable during this period.

We apologise for any inconvenience.


You can visit our Search Room to consult original archive and collections material. Entrance is free and you can browse open access items such as books and photographs. If you would like to see original historic drawings and manuscripts, add these items to your "Search room basket", make an appointment and we will have the material awaiting your arrival (up to 10 items). Please await for confimation of the date and time of your visit before setting out to avoid disappointment. Alternatively, you can request up to five items from our stores on the day. Items are retrieved twice a day, at 10.30am and 2pm.

Alternatively make a note of the Catalgue Number(s) of the items you wish to see and contact us on +44 (0)131 662 1456 or fill out the Search Room Booking Request form to make an appointment.


Availability of Material 

As part of our Archive Digital Projects 2018-2021, some material may be briefly unavailable in our Search Room. For more information on this project and how we are increasing our volume of digital material and making this available online, visit our page.


Library catalogue 


Group Visits

We welcome visits by groups. These are free and must be pre-booked via the Search Room Booking Request online form. You will be given an introduction to our work, a tour of the Collections and Search Room and a demonstration of our on-line resources. Let us know if the group has a particular focus or access needs and we will tailor the tour as required. Group visits last approximately 1.5 hours. Monday is set aside for group visits but we are also able to accommodate small groups (up to 15 people) during opening hours between Tuesday and Friday.

DP 231455


Digitisation and Copying Services

We provide a range of copying facilities in the Search Room and permit self-copying (cameras or phones) of certain material. We can also offer high quality professional digitisation and printing.



We are open:

  • Monday – Closed except for pre-booked group visits
  • Tuesday - 9:30am to 4.30pm
  • Wednesday - 9:30am to 4.30pm
  • Thursday - 9:30am to 4.30pm
  • Friday - 9:30am to 4.30pm

We are closed on these days:

  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • St Andrew's day 29th Nov 2019
  • Christmas and New Year 23rd Dec 2019 - 6th Jan 2020



John Sinclair House, 16 Bernard Terrace, Edinburgh EH8 9NX. The Search Room is on the first floor and is fully accessible for visitors with disabilities.

Bernard Terrace is located off South Clerk Street in Newington, Edinburgh and is served by a number of buses. Limited car parking is available for visitors to the rear of the building.

DP 093682

Help Topics

Help is available on the following items. Please click on the relevant link below to read more. If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact us.