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About Heritage Services

Heritage Services offers a portal to the rich cultural heritage of West Lothian. Use our services to gain access to informative historical resources, original historic records and a wide range of local history objects.

Local History

Miners' rows, Broxburn
Miners' rows, Broxburn

For local and family history, visit the West Lothian Local History Library in Linlithgow.

Books, maps and photographs

The library holds thousands of books, 1,100 maps and 12,000 old photographs covering all aspects of West Lothian's history and heritage.

Family History resources 

The local history library offers family history resources for all West Lothian parishes. These include:

  • Valuation Rolls - 1855 to date.
  • Voters' Rolls - 1869 to date.
  • DVDs and CDs of local interest

The West Lothian Family History Society also offers a free advice service in the library on Wednesdays and Fridays between 11.30 and 4pm.

Local Newspapers

You can also access seven local newspapers covering 1873 to the present, and an Local newspaper index to the West Lothian Courier, the Linlithgow Gazette and the Midlothian Advertiser on the microfilm readers in the local history library. An online index is also available.

St John's Church
St John's Church

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

The archival holdings date from the 16th century and include local authority records and private deposits comprising school records, Poor Law records, business records and estate papers.

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 Negative Collection; and Bathgate Forge.

Records can be consulted in the public search room and staff are available to assist with enquiries. If you would like to visit the Archives to conduct some research, email or telephone 01506 283670 to arrange a time.  An appointment must be made in advance as reader spaces are limited. 

New hours for council Archives

Opening hours for the council's Archives and Records service are changing.

From 1 March 2019, opening hours will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-1pm and 2pm-5pm at Kirkton Service Centre in Livingston.

Access to the Archives is by appointment only and can be requested by email, telephone or letter.

Friendly Society Apron Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Friendly Society Apron

West Lothian Council Museums Service  cares for and displays a wide range of local history objects.

You can find displays in Community Museums in the libraries at Armadale, Blackridge, Broxburn and Whitburn. Temporary displays are also shown in Linlithgow Library, Lanthorn Library and West Calder Library.

The Museums Service creates a variety of touring exhibitions for all the Community Museums. Recent topics include Gala Days, Winners, Railways, National Service and the First World War.

Displays are produced with individuals and local interest groups as well as national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, Workers  Educational Association and the British Geological Survey.

From the Museum office and stores we offer outreach services to the community including object handling sessions in schools, heritage events in libraries and reminiscence loan boxes to day and residential centres for older people.

An important part of our work is to support and complement the work of West Lothian's independent museums and heritage attractions at Bathgate, Linlithgow and Livingston.