Ayrshire Archives and Libraries


Ayrshire, under the 1960s local government reorganisation of Scotland, became part of the Strathclyde Region which had a number of archives.

The regional archives are the Strathclyde Regional Archives at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. The former Strathclyde District Libraries for Cunninghame, Cumnock & Doon, Kilmarnock & Loudon and Kyle & and Carrick, following further reorganisation have been restructured with centres serving Ayrshire as a whole as well as three District Archives:

Ayrshire Archives
Ayrshire Archives Headquarters (South Ayrshire) are now located at the Watson Peat Building, SAC Auchincruive, Ayr KA6 5HN, telephone 01292 616260. They are open to visitors every Tuesday from 9.30am-1pm and 2pm-4pm by appointment only. Please telephone 01292 521819 Monday to Friday to make an appointment or email archives[at]south-ayrshire.gov[dot]uk

North Ayrshire - Saltcoats

The Heritage Centre
Manse Street
KA21 5AA

Tel: 01294 464174
Email: naheritage[at]north-ayrshire.gov[dot]uk

(The Heritage Centre will be closed to the public until further notice to allow for vital improvement works. Email naheritage[at]north-ayrshire.gov[dot]uk or call 01294 464174 with any enquiries.)

(Looking at their web site this may now be out of date as they are advertising opening times throughout 2019.)

North Ayrshire Heritage & Cultural Services, including its genealogy & local history service,  is now located at the Townhouse, Irvine. See their Facebook page.

East Ayrshire - Kilmarnock

Burns Monument Centre,
Kay Park,
East Ayrshire.

Tel: 01292 616260
Email: archives[at]south-ayrshire.gov[dot]uk

The former three addresses are included below for convenience.

  • South Ayrshire District
    Carnegie Library
    Main Street, Ayr
    Ayrshire KA8 8ED, Scotland
    Tel: (01292) 286385; Fax: (01292) 611593
    Email: carnegie.library[at]south-ayrshire.gov[dot]uk

  • North Ayrshire District
    Ardrossan Library
    39/41 Princes Street
    Ardrossan Ayrshire KA22 8BT, Scotland
    Tel: (01294) 469682 Fax: (01294) 469682
    Email: ardrossanlibrary[at]north-ayrshire.gov[dot]uk

  • East Ayrshire District
    The Dick Institute
    Elmbank Avenue
    Kilmarnock, KA1 3BU, Scotland
    Museum & Gallery opening hours
    Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm
    Closed Sundays, Mondays and Public Holidays.
    Full disabled access available.
    Tel: 01563 554300

  • Baird Institute History Centre and Museum
    Lugar Street, Cumnock
    Ayrshire KA18 1AD, Scotland
    Tel: (01290) 427084.

    The Baird Institute History Centre and Museum holds collections of Mauchline Ware of world importance complemented by many items of Cumnock Pottery as well as a wide range of resources which relate to the history of Cumnock and the Doon Valley area – museum collections, archives, photographs, audio visual materials, books, maps and newspapers. One room is also dedicated to James Keir Hardie, founder of the Labour Party, and contains many of his personal belongings.
    Opening hours Thursday – Saturday 11am – 5pm, Closed on public holidays.
    Admission free.

Other Archives

The following national archives may be useful to family historians:

  • SCRAN The Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network (SCRAN) is a Millennium Project to build a networked multimedia resource base for the study, teaching and appreciation of history and material culture in Scotland. Their website has an easy to use search engine.

Family History Societies

Family History Societies covering Ayrshire include: