According to their website, the National Archives of Scotland "exists to select, preserve, and make available the national archives of Scotland in whatever medium, to the highest standards; to promote the growth and maintenance of proper archive provision throughout the country; and to lead the development of archival practice in Scotland."
The NAS is an agency of the Scottish government and is headed by the Keeper of the Records of Scotland. It is a large organization that is housed in three buildings, has 140 staff members, and runs eight websites. It is divided into the Record Services Division and the Corporate Services Division.
The collection is made up of 70 km of records, dating from the 12th century to the present. Types of documents in the collection include state and parliamentary papers, the register of deeds and sasines (the land register), church records, wills and testaments, tax records, valuation rolls, family papers, court records, government records, business records, railroad records, records of nationalized industries, and maps.
The NAS is located in the General Register House, designed by Robert Adams and opened in the 1780s. The Scotlands People Center is also housed in this building.
The NAS maintains or contributes to several interesting websites that would be useful to users researching Scottish history or genealogy.
SCAN (Scottish Archive Network) aims to provide a unified electronic catalog that includes all archives in Scotland.
The NRAS (National Register of Archives for Scotland) surveys the holdings of collections of private papers in Scotland.
ScottishHandwriting.com helps users to read and understand the handwriting used in historic documents.
Scotlandsimages.com is a website that provides a digital collection of images from Scotland's national collections.
The Scottish Register of Tartans is the official register of Scottish Tartans.