The Scottish Catholic Archives (SCA) is the Archive of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland and is responsible for preserving the historical memory of Catholicism in the modern era.

The Collection housed in the Archive ranges from Pre-Catholic Emancipation (1829) up to present day. 

The Scottish Catholic Archives occupies Columba House in the new town part of Edinburgh.  The building was purchased in 1958 by the Bishop Hierarchy of Scotland to serve as a repository and research centre. Father William James Anderson was the first Keeper of the newly formed Archives. The period 1958 to 1972 was pivotal in the development of the Archives, as Father Anderson started the process of cataloguing and arranging the Archive.  The Archive is unique in the way it has drawn the Diocesan and Parish archives into one location, but ownership still lies with the Dioceses and Parishes, as dictated by Church Law.

Collection Highlights

SCA hold several major Diocesan collections including the papers of the Eastern District Vicariate, Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and the Dioceses of Argyll and the Isles, Aberdeen, Dunkeld, Galloway, Motherwell, and Paisley.

SCA also hold the records of the national administration which is formed by the General Secretariat and approximately twelve Commissions and Agencies. 

Parish Registers are one of the largest collections held by SCA and can be viewed via Scotland’s People  and Find My Past.

The Blairs College (1764-1988) Collection is owned by SCHCT and includes papers from Blairs College, details the colleges administration, estate, and students.

Other Seminary Collections include Gillis College/Drygrange and Scotus College.

SCA also hold the collections of two Religious Orders including St Margaret’s Convent, The Ursulines of Jesus and the Marist Brothers.

For more collections infomation, please search Catholic Heritage  or contact