Research Resources


Collections of local studies material for Banffshire, including printed works, local newspapers, old parish registers and census records, are held at libraries in Keith, Buckie and Macduff. Contact details for these can be found via websites for Moray Council and Aberdeenshire Council.

Each of the local authorities covering historic Banffshire has its own local studies reference library. For Aberdeenshire, this is in based in Oldmeldrum, while Elgin Library is home to Moray local heritage services.


The National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh hold a wealth of historic material relating to Banffshire. Their online research guides explain what types of records they have.  

Aberdeenshire Archives hold archival material for Banffshire such as burgh records, school registers, poor relief records, valuation rolls and some estate papers. They can also provide access to kirk session records.

Moray Council Heritage Centre holds similar material for some areas of historic Banffshire. Their online catalogue of people and places is especially useful.

The University of Aberdeen Special Collections Library is home to a wide range of estate papers (notably the Duff/Fife archives) as well as an extensive local studies reference library.

A more detailed list of organisations in north east Scotland with specialist material is also recommended to anyone with an interest in historic Banffshire.

Online resources

The Statistical Accounts of Scotland provide detailed descriptions of Scottish parishes in the late 18th and mid 19th centuries, giving a valuable insight into the life of the community.

Groome’s Gazetteer of Scotland, published in 1882, is widely recognised as the most authoritative source of reference for places in Scotland.

A wide variety of high resolution historic maps is held by the National Library of Scotland.

The National Library of Scotland also provides free access to a huge variety of digitised historic material such as Post Office directories, antiquarian volumes, photographs, engravings and moving images.

ScotlandsPlaces provides access to a growing collection of digitised historic resources. Examples include official reports, taxation records and Ordnance Survey place name books. The latter are of particular value to those researching place names, while the farm horse taxes offer a rare insight into the agricultural community.

Canmore hosts a comprehensive catalogue of archaeological, industrial and maritime sites throughout Scotland, including links to maps and images.

For family historians, ScotlandsPeople is the place to find digitised images of essential records. In addition to civil registers of births, marriages & deaths, it is also possible to access census records, old parochial records, wills, valuation rolls and coats of arms.  

Scottish research organisations

The Scottish Local History Forum is the umbrella organisation for individuals and organisations interested in local history in Scotland. It publishes a regular journal, organises an annual conference and engages in other related activities.

The Scottish Place Name Society exists for the support of all aspects of toponymic studies in Scotland, and in particular work towards a Survey of Scottish Place-Names. The Society circulates a newsletter twice a year to members and organises two conferences each year.

Local history and heritage societies

See also the directories of organisations and museums in modern Moray and Aberdeenshire.