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Help and advice for The Orkney Library and Archive

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it. We have a number of people each maintaining different sections of the web site, so it is important to submit information via a link on the relevant page otherwise it is likely to go to the wrong person and may not be acted upon.

The Orkney Library and Archive

Address: 44 Junction Road, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1AG
Telephone: 01856 873166
Fax: 01856 875260

The new Orkney Library & Archive opened in new premises in December 2003. The ground floor houses the main lending library, reference room, children's library and administration block while most of the upper floor is devoted to the Archives and Local History department, including the photographic and sound archives. The Orkney Family History Society are also based there.

The Archives Department stores the following records which may be of use to genealogists:

  • IGI (International Genealogical Index) for Scotland. [1988 edition]
  • IGI (International Genealogical Index) for Orkney and Shetland. [1992 edition]
  • Microfilm copies of Decennial Census Returns for Orkney, 1841-1901
  • Printed copies of the Decennial Census Returns for Orkney, 1841-1901
  • Manuscript copies of census returns for six Orkney parishes, 1821
  • Microfilm copies of Old Parish Registers for Orkney, (baptisms, marriages, and some deaths/burials up to 1854)
  • Microfilm copies of the two Orkney weekly newspapers, (The Orcadian, 1854 to present and The Orkney Herald, 1860-1961).

Other records held in the Archives which may be useful in family history research:

  • Local authority records
  • Local estate papers
  • Private collections
  • Business papers
  • Orkney Sheriff Court Records
    (incl. wills 1830-1980)
  • Register of Sasines (1781-1947)
  • Records of established
    and secession churches
  • Valuation Rolls
  • Voters' Rolls
  • Earldom and Bishopric Rentals*
  • Transcripts of Monumental Inscriptions**
  • Sound & Photographic Archives

*     Some of these records are also held by the National Records of Scotland.
**  Some of these records are also held by the Orkney Family History Society.

Page created by Bill Teschek