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If you would like to take part in our transcriptions project please visit the Transcribe archives section where you can learn more about taking part in the transcriptions project, learn about palaeography and historical Scottish handwriting, read the transcription news and learn about upcoming events, read and contribute to forum entries, and join groups.  You can also access the transcribable resources to see what contributions have been made thus far.

From the Transcribe archives page you will be able to sign up as a transcriber.  Once you become a transcriber you will be able to see transcriber entry forms on particular resources (accessible from the Our Resources page or the Transcribe archives page) and you will be able to contribute.

Each page requiring a transcription has a guidance section where you can learn about how best to transcribe that particular resource.

Searching and browsing

ScotlandsPlaces provides results based on spatial or place name searching. There are several ways to search and browse on the site.

Browsing the digital volumes

The digital volumes are a popular section of the site.  To access the volumes directly you can use the Our Resources page.  This breaks down the volumes into Types and allows you to navigate through to the pages of individual books.  If you conduct a search you will also be able to access relevant digital volumes from the results pages.  If relevant digital volumes exist they will be presented as white boxes down the left hand side of the results page.

Entering a place name in the search box

The search box for the site can be found in the top right corner on each page. When a search term is entered into the search box, the website will compare the term with entries in the ScotlandsPlaces historical place name gazetteer.  If there are multiple matches from the gazetteer the user will be provided with a listing to select which place name they intended or they can select the "free text search" option.  If the user enters a term that is not found in the gazetteer a "free text search" on the records will automatically be done.

The search box is capable of searches based on one place at a time.

Navigating through the site using roll over maps

Users may know the area of Scotland that they would like to search, however do not know the name of this area. The county map on the home page of the site allows users to conduct a county-wide search by selecting a name from the listing or an area from the roll-over map. 

Once on a county results page, the user may wish to narrow the results further by parish using the "refine by parish" link or by clicking the map.  The user may then select a parish within that county. (Note that the parishes shown will be the post-1893 parishes.  Learn more about the history of Scottish adminsitration areas on our Place names A-Z page).

Once on a parish page, the user may want to narrow the results even further.  They can do this by using the results filter or by refine the spatial area of the results.  To refine by spatial area the user can click on the parish map to access a zoomable map where they can follow the instructions and conduct a spatial "pin search".   

Entering a coordinate in the search box

If you would like to search by coordinate you can enter them in the search box. Once you submit these you will be asked to select an extent for the search from a dropdown list provided.

You can enter coordinates in the following formats:

Decimal Degrees

  • 55.950197N, 3.187558W
  • 55.950197, -3.187558 

Degrees, Minutes, Seconds

  • 55 57 00.71N, 3 11 15.21W
  • 55 57 00.17, -3 11 15.21


  • NT250750
  • NT 250 750
  • NT 250750


  • 325000, 675000

Using the "Zoomable map search" functionality

The user can also get to this dynamic map from the front page of the site, called "Map Search" which opens to the extent of Scotland. Before the user is able to conduct this search, they will need to select an extent from the dropdown list in order to provide the system with a bounding box by which to conduct the search. This interactive dynamic map allows the user to zoom in and out of Scotland and pan around.