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Accessibility Statement

Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the National Library of Scotland (NLS) are committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability.

Where possible, this website endeavours to conform to a least the level of Double-A of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines will help make the Web more user friendly for all people. This site has been built using code compliant with W3C standards for XHTML and CSS.

The site displays correctly in current browsers and using standards compliant XHTML/CSS code means any future browsers will also display it correctly. Supported browsers include IE7 and above, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.  If you currently use an older version of Internet Explorer be upgrade to a modern browser.  If you are using Firefox, Chrome or Safari, please ensure your browser is up-to-date.

The site depends for a large part of its content on the use of digital copies of historical records, maps and plans, photographs and other material held in the NRS, NLS, and HES in Edinburgh . We understand that, while this addresses the problem of geographic inaccessibility, it does not fully solve the problems encountered by sight-impaired users. It is difficult or impossible to provide a text-based alternative to some material, such as maps and photographs, but catalogue descriptions (on the ScotlandsPlaces website or on the websites of the partners) provide a detailed text-based alternative to some extent.  We have now released a trascrniption system which allows crowd-sourcing of the digital images.  This system allows the trascribed text to be searchable by the site and also means that the information in the images can be read out by screen readers.  Please note that the transcriptions reflect 17th-19th century information and abbreviations and variant names/spellings are used in the materials.

We are committed to a programme of testing and development to improve the overall accessibility of the site and to use disabled users in our site testing and development. In the meantime should you experience any difficulty in accessing the ScotlandsPlaces website, please contact us.

A bit about accessibility

The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative provides information on standards for website accessibility. A summary of their guidelines includes the following:


  • Provide text alternatives for non-text content
  • Provide captions and other alternatives for multimedia
  • Create content that can be presented in different ways, including by assistive technologies, without losing meaning
  • Make it easier for users to see and hear content


  • Make all functionality available from a keyboard
  • Give users enough time to read and use content
  • Do not use content that causes seizures
  • Help users navigate and find content


  • Make text readable and understandable
  • Make content appear and operate in predictable ways
  • Help users avoid and correct mistakes


  • Maximize compatibility with current and future user tools