10 January 2023
Discover how to trace your Dundee ancestors using the records held by Dundee City Archives & Record Centre.
Dundee City Archives & Record Centre, which is located on City Square in Dundee, is home to the records of Dundee City Council and its predecessors, who include Dundee District Council, the Corporation of Dundee and Tayside Regional Council.
The Archives is home to thousands of records which include family and estate papers, church, court & custom records, maps & plans, and official records.
Family, business and estate papers
Dundee City Archives is home to thousands of records which relate to families, businesses and estates which have existed in Dundee from the fifteenth century through to the present day.
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The records include the correspondence of missionary Mary Slessor (1901-1914), records relating to the Jute & Flax Union (1906-1966) and records of Dundee Port Authority (1814-1986).
Church, court and custom records
The Archives holds records for Church of Scotland churches within the Presbytery of Dundee, including some Free Church and United Church records.
The customs and excise records relate to Dundee, Montrose and Arbroath Outports and date from 1707 through to 1990. For property registration, the Archives has Dundee Burgh Protocol books, (1571-1608) and Dundee Burgh Registers of Sasines (1639-1809).
Maps and Ordnance Survey Plans
Dundee Archives holds a range of maps and plans, including a detailed map of the Burgh commissioned in 1857, before the Ordnance Survey reached Dundee. Visitors can explore town maps, geological maps, military and estate maps.
- Ordnance Survey Maps 1871 and 1901 (1:500 scale) (1871 available on National Library of Scotland website - under town plans)
- Survey of Burgh of Broughty Ferry, 1908 (BF/TC)
- Photocopy of map of Lochee, 1851 (GD/X1175)
- Parliamentary plans of street tramway, water and gas improvements, 1870 to 1966
Official records at Dundee City Archives
The official records kept at the Archives include burgh court books and registers, Dundee Police Board and Police Commissioners Minutes from 1824 to 1894, and shipping registers for the Port of Dundee from 1580 to 1713.
Visit the archives
Opening hours: Mon to Fri 9.30am to 1pm and 2pm to 4.30pm.
If you are unable to visit Dundee City Archives in person, staff can provide copies of documents (subject to copyright and condition of the item). See the scale of charges.
Originally published November 2017. Reviewed November 2022.
(images copyright Tuck DB Postcards)