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West Lothian Council Archives and Records Centre preserves and makes accessible records relating to the history of West Lothian.

West Lothian Council Archives is responsible for preserving and making accessible records reflecting the history of both local government and the wider community in west Lothian.

What are Archives?

Archives are original documents produced by official bodies, individuals or societies that are no longer in current use. Archives are a valuable resource for tracing family history, exploring the history of local government, or discovering more about the wider community.


The archival holdings date from the 16th century to the present day and include local authority records and private deposits comprising:

  • School records
  • Poor Law records
  • Business records
  • Estate papers

The Collections

The main collections include the records of:

  • West Lothian Council
  • West Lothian County and District Councils
  • Livingston Development Corporation
  • Linlithgow Incorporation of Wrights
  • Bob Wallace photographic collection
  • Bathgate Forge


Records can be consulted in the public search room and staff are available to assist with enquiries. No appointment is necessary but it is advisable to contact us in advance, as reader spaces are limited. Identification is required on the first visit to complete a reader registration form.

Private Deposits

Archives welcomes donations of records from individuals and organisations.

Online Resources

Our online catalogue can be viewed here.

A list of the archive collections held by West Lothian Council Archives has been compiled by the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN). The SCAN website also includes details of historical records relating to West Lothian held elsewhere.