Catalogues and finding aids

A brief guide to our finding aids and collection catalogues which can help you identify, use and understand a range of family history material.

What do I need to know before I start?

Finding aids come in a variety of formats and outlined here are some of the main ones covering family history resources in the Mitchell Library including the Registrars, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives, Glasgow City Archives and Special Collections.​​

The Registrars

The ScotlandsPeople Network is the most comprehensive collection of vital Scottish records and is available through the Registrars at the Mitchell Library. For a daily fee you can access digital images and full indexes of a range of records for Scotland including:

  • civil registration records, 1855-present
  • old parish registers, 1538-1854
  • Catholic parish registers, 1703-1963
  • census returns, 1841-1911
  • wills and testaments, 1513-1925

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives

You can explore the collections of the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives by consulting the paper catalogues and survey lists available in the Glasgow City Archives searchroom. These list and describe the surviving clinical and administrative records of dozens of medical institutions, as well as the personal papers of a number of medical professionals, dating from the late nineteenth century to the mid twentieth century.

Glasgow City Archives

Glasgow City Archives has a variety of catalogues and finding aids and the archivist will guide you to the most appropriate for your research.



Catalogues exist for the majority of our collections including, but not exclusive to:

  • the official records of the City
  • various local authorities
  • landed families
  • businesses
  • organisations, societies and groups


You can consult these catalogues in the archives searchroom. Summary information about many of our collections is available online on the Scottish Archive Network website.



  • general index
  • card index by name (personal and corporate), subject and place
  • building plans index
  • card index of architectural plans from c.1870-1912


These indexes can only be accessed in the archives searchroom.


Databases for family historians, most of which can only be accessed in the archives searchroom, include indexes to:

  • poor relief applications, 1851-c.1925
  • police personnel records, 1826-c.1932
  • church registers, baptisms and marriages, pre-1855
  • valuation rolls, 1832, 1861, 1881, 1911​
  • databases detailing architectural plans, 1885-1995

Special Collections

There are a number of catalogues and finding aids in Special Collections for family history material. Not all are available online but staff are happy to advise and assist.


Glasgow Libraries Online Catalogue is the key search tool for finding published material on family history. The catalogue includes books and pamphlets added from 1976 onwards and all Glasgow Collection material. You can access the catalogue online via a library computer or from home. Search by author, title, keyword or under “family history” to explore the collections.

Micro-fiche catalogues for books and pamphlets added to The Mitchell Library, 1877-1915 and 1916-1960 (available only at The Mitchell).

Please ask staff for assistance to access materials acquired 1960-1976.

Printed indexes

  • Evening Times Roll of Honour
  • Monumental Inscriptions Collection
  • photographs in the Glasgow Collection 1877-1915
  • Glasgow Herald Index 1906 - 2001

Printed catalogues:

  • Scottish family histories
  • Scottish Regimental History Collection
  • manuscripts in The Mitchell Library
  • Glasgow newspapers
  • chronological list of newspapers in The Mitchell Library
  • periodicals catalogue

You can also browse folders of Glasgow illustrations such as:

  • William Graham Collection
  • Postcard Collection
  • Portraits (mostly 19th century)​


The Glasgow Database: an index of references to Glasgow Collection material, including journal and newspaper articles and scrapbooks. Searchable by name, subject an​d keyword.


What records can I see online?​

Please see our guide on Online Resources for further information.


What records can I see elsewhere?

The National Register of Archives contains information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records that relate to British history.


The National Register of Archives for Scotland maintains a register of archive surveys. These surveys describe archive papers; some held privately and others by archives and libraries of local authorities and universities.


What other resources will help me find information?


Alistair G. Tough. Medical Archives of Glasgow and Paisley: A Guide to the Greater Glasgow Health Board Archive, (1993)


In this guide