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Fife Council Archive Centre

The Fife Archive Centre is now run by Fife Cultural Trust to maintain and catalogue archives on behalf of Fife Council. Brief information available on the new onfife website, but the catalogue is still on the old Fife Council website.

The Archives Centre has now moved to Iona House, John Smith Business Park, Grantsmuir Road, Kirkcaldy, KY2 6NA - please contact the Archives department on 01592 583352 or for further information and to arrange appointment times.

The Archive Centre houses the records of Fife Council and its predecessors, the records of many Fife burghs, those of the Glenrothes Development Corporation and the Rothes estate papers.

Many other Fife archives are stored elsewhere. For advice on what records are available and where they can be consulted, contact the archivist.

The catalogue can be searched on the Fife Council website (select  A in the A-Z list, then  Archives enquiries). [For any given search, the online catalogue search only returns the first 200 hits, so some manipulation of search terms is required to ensure all relevant entries are found.]

Main holdings:

County records:

Records for all of Fife (from 1709) of the public bodies that carried out the functions which Fife Council still looks after today including roads maintenance, bridges, schools, police, etc. The records include:

  • Commissioners of Supply minute books 1709-1889
  • Statute Labour Road Trustees and Turnpike Trustees records 1790-1879
  • Parochial Board / Parish Council records: minute books 1845-1930 (information about the relief of paupers, management of the cemetery, etc)
  • School Records:
    • School Board minutes 1873-1919 (a few schools have management committee minutes dating up to c.1930)
    • School log books 1863-1997 (the more recent ones are closed for 50 years from the date of the last entry)
    • Some School Admissions Registers (the more recent ones are closed for 75 years from the date of the last entry)
  • Police Records:
    • Dunfermline City Police (1874-1946)
    • Kirkcaldy Burgh Police (1877-1948)
    • Fife County Constabulary (1858-1949)
    • Fife Constabulary (1949- )
    • Leaflet giving Archive holdings
    • Fife Family History Society have published an Index to the Fife Constabulary Photo Criminal Register, 1910-1920, in their Publications Series, No. 34.
    • There was a downloadable index to the Photo Criminal Register No. 2, 1912-1923, on the main Fife Council website - it may still be there.
    • St Andrews District Criminal Register, 1888 - 1899. Names of criminals are included in the online catalogue. Fife Family History Society have published the index in their Publications Series, Nos. 35 & 36.
  • Electoral Registers (1914-2001, with gaps). Leaflet giving Archive holdings
  • Minute books of Fife County Council 1889-1975
  • Minute books of Fife Regional Council 1975-1995
  • Minute books of Dunfermline District Council 1975-1995
  • Minute books of Kirkcaldy District Council 1975-1995
  • Minute books of North-East Fife District Council 1975-1995
  • Records of the Dysart Combination Poorhouse, 1868-1880.
  • Records of several hospitals in Fife
  • Valuation Rolls: list of those held by Fife Council libraries; Leaflet giving Archive holdings

Burgh & Town Council Records

Some records are held for Anstruther, Auchtermuchty, Buckhaven and Methil, Burntisland, Crail, Culross, Cupar, Dysart, Falkland, Kilrenny, Kinghorn, Kirkcaldy, Leslie, Leven, Markinch, Newburgh, Newport-on-Tay, Pittenweem, St Andrews and St Monans.

N.B. The main record holdings of most of these burghs are in other archives. 

Glenrothes Development Corporation (1948-1975):

  • minute books
  • plans
  • photographs (lots of photographs!)
  • records of all aspects of the towns history from the creation of the new town in 1948 to the winding up of the Corporation in 1995.

Rothes Papers:

  • Estate papers and accounts of the Rothes family from the 1640s to the 1900s concerning their estate in Leslie and Markinch parishes, including:
    • wage books & other records of miners employed at Cadham, Strathore & Cluny mines c.1680-1750
    • household accounts for Leslie House, including records of payments to the family's household and farm servants
  • For an overview of the papers, see Introduction to the Rothes Papers, W G Rowntree Bodie, in Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot., 110, 1978-80, 404-431.
  • Fife Family History Society's Journal, Autumn 2006, includes a list of Miners listed in the Rothes Papers.

Burial records:

  • Rosyth Churchyard burial records 1813-1884
  • Little Rosyth Churchyard burial records 1774-1866
  • Tulliallan Churchyard & Cemetery burial records 1875-1923
  • Dunfermline Cemetery 1863-1975

Quarter Sessions records:

  • minute books 1787-1794, 1841-1850
  • papers presented at Quarter Sessions (including lists of men eligible to serve as special constables, and appeals against decisions, etc) 1775-1846 (with gaps)
  • summary trials records 1834-1885 (with gaps)

Hospital Records (mostly administrative files including minute books, accounts and annual reports):

  • Adamson Hospital, Cupar 1865-1979
  • Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital (originally Dunfermline Cottage Hospital) 1891-1948
  • East Fife Hospitals Board of Management 1948-1974
  • Kirkcaldy Cottage Hospital 1891-1948
  • Memorial Cottage Hospital, St Andrews 1875-1949
  • Dunfermline Combined Poorhouse and Hospital 1859-1867
  • Randolph Wemyss Memorial Hospital 1912-1948
  • Stratheden Hospital, Cupar 1867-1970s. A large collection of records (including records of Fife and Kinross District Lunacy Board and its successors) also includes many patients' records (closed for 100 years), visitors' books, etc.

Other records:

  • Records of the Fife County Nursing Association 1922-1947
  • Largo Field Studies Society
    • minutes, correspondence, etc 1968-2001
  • Ordnance Survey Object Name Books 1850-1854. There are indexes to all of them except Culross and Tulliallan on the Fife Council website. Links to the indexes here.
  • Valuation Rolls for various areas and burghs in Fife (various dates to 1975), including:
    • Fife County 1872-1896, 1916-1961 (excludes Royal Burghs* until 1930; excludes Dunfermline, Dysart & Kirkcaldy until 1958)
    • the whole county (in districts) 1961-1975
    • Anstruther district 1948-1954
    • St Andrews district 1931-1970
    • individual burghs for various years, see separate burgh entries above.

    * Royal Burghs were Auchtermuchty, Anstruther Easter, Anstruther Wester, Culross, Cupar, Crail, Earlsferry, Falkland, Inverkeithing, Kilrenny, Kinghorn, Newburgh & St Andrews.

An excellent guide to the location of pre-1900 archive material of genealogical and local historical importance is "The Archives of Fife" by Andrew Campbell, published 1997, which is available from the Fife Family History Society or the Tay Valley Family History Society. It is a comprehensive guide to the records in all the Fife repositories including the Council Archive Centre (although the records it lists as being held at Fife House, Kirkcaldy Town House and ASDARC in Cardenden are all now held at the Council Archive Centre).