School Records

Dundee City Council operates local authority schools across the city. Its predecessor, Dundee Corporation took over the running of schools in 1930 from the former Dundee Education Authority. This in turn was preceded by local School Boards, which were created in 1872 by the Education (Scotland) Act of that year. We hold records for schools that are or were run by the council or one of these bodies. We also hold records for independent schools such as Dundee High School.

Local Authority School Records

The school records we hold include log books, admission registers, photographs and other items such as magazines, yearbooks, etc.

Admission registers list all of the pupils that attended the school, when they started, their address, parents name and usually their previous school. Many of our early school registers are indexed on the FDCA website.

Log books are equivalent a diary of the running of the school. They only occasionally refer to individual pupils but can give an idea of what was happening at the school and the wider community in general (e.g. inspection reports, severe weather, illness and epidemics, staff appointments and absences, etc.)

Please note that admission registers under 100 years old and log books under 50 years old are closed to the public. For more information or to find out to how to access them please see our guidance on closed records.

Dundee High School

We hold the archives of the High School of Dundee (Ref: GD/DHS). Download the catalogue of the collection.

Please note that some records relating to living individuals are closed to the public. For more information or to find out to how to access them please see our guidance on closed records.

Industrial Schools

We hold the records of the Dundee Industrial Schools – Balgay (Girls) and Baldovan (Boys).

The Dundee Industrial Schools Society was founded in 1847. Initially based in Temple Lane, the school moved to new premises at Ward Road in c.1856. Originally attendance was voluntary but after 1861, children could be sentenced to attend the school instead of going to jail. The boys’ school moved to Baldovan in 1878, and the girls remained at Ward Road until moving up to Balgay in 1896. The following records contain information about pupils, for a full list of records, please contact the Archives.

Girls (Ward Road then Balgay)

Admission registers (includes boys before 1878) 1855-1924 GD/Balg/2/3/1-6
Log books 1910-1980 GD/Balg/2/5/1-4
Punishment books 1891-1966 GD/Balg/2/6/1-3

Boys (Baldovan or Balgowan)

Admission Register (In same volume as girls school) 1855-1878 GD/Balg/2/3/1-4
Admission registers 1873-1980 GD/Balg/3/3/1-9
Log books 1922-1983 GD/Balg/3/4/1-3

Please note that records that contain personal information are closed for 100 years. Please contact us for further information.

Accessing your own records

If you are looking for records relating to your time at school please see our guidance on closed records.

Other Records

The Archives also holds records of the Dundee School Board, Broughty Ferry School Board, Dundee (Landward) School Board, Mains and Strathmartine School Board, the Dundee Education Authority and the Education Committees of Dundee Corporation/Town Council, Tayside Regional Council and Dundee City Council. These records relate to the running of the schools. They are unlikely to mention any pupils but may mention staff by name. They will also mention key decisions made about the school.

We also hold many other personal collections which contain school related items, including personal collections of school records, e.g. exercise books, certificates and photographs. Have a look on our Subject Index (3.2MB PDF) or contact us to find out if we have what you’re looking for.

Contact the Archives