What We Hold

Airdrie’s Local Studies Discovery Room is a reference and research facility covering Airdrie, Coatbridge and the Monklands area, provided by the Museums and Heritage Section of North Lanarkshire Council Learning & Leisure Services. It is based at Airdrie Library in Wellwynd, Airdrie. Archives

It has a variety of collections available to help you to find out about local history or discover your family tree. Use of the resources is free of charge. Staff members are always available to help researchers with any aspect of our service.


Local History Resources

The Reference Library

A large and wide ranging collection of books including virtually everything that has been published relating to the history of Airdrie, Coatbridge and the Monklands area. Other categories include Scottish history, industrial history, family history, Lanarkshire history, local literary figures and local religious history.


Monklands Photographic Collection (U6, U34). Approximately 3,000 photos of Airdrie, Coatbridge, surrounding villages and countryside, local events and people.

The Kennedy Albums (U44). Over 500 photos of Airdrie streets and buildings taken by the Burgh Sanitary Inspector, mainly in the1950s.

The John White Collection (U142). Over 200 photographs of Coatbridge taken by a local historian in the 1960s and 1970s.


The Monklands Map Collection. We have over 500 maps and plans. There are Ordnance Survey maps (First, Second and New Editions, small and large scale), local estate maps, burgh plans, street plans, geological maps, mine workings plans and bound atlases.

Local Newspapers

We have a number of local newspapers and journals viewable on microfilm.

  • Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, 1855 – present
  • Coatbridge Express, 1885 – 1951
  • Coatbridge Leader, 1905 – 1957
  • The Airdrie Literary Album, 1828 – 1829
  • The Airdrie Journal, 1850 – 1851
  • The Airdrie & Coatbridge Luminary, 1847 and 1851-1852
  • The Coatbridge & Airdrie Standard, 1868


The Monklands Collection – A wide-ranging assortment of transitory printed and manuscript paper items built up over the last 150 years at Airdrie Library, relating to the last 2,000 years of our area’s heritage.

Council Minutes

  • Burgh of Airdrie, 1897 – 1975
  • Burgh of Coatbridge, 1904 – 1975
  • Monklands District Council, 1975 – 1996
  • North Lanarkshire Council, 1996 – present


Family History Resources

Old Parochial Registers

Lists of births (baptisms), marriages and occasionally deaths recorded by Church of Scotland parish churches.

  • Old Monkland Parish, 1695 – 1854
  • New Monkland Parish, 1693 – 1854
  • Shotts Parish, 1707 – 1854
  • Bothwell Parish, 1671 – 1854
  • Cadder Parish, 1662 – 1854

Census Returns

A complete listing of all the people living in the area, giving their age, occupation, parish of birth and other information. Censuses were carried out every 10th year from 1841. This personal information remains secret for 100 years.

  • Old Monkland Parish (652), 1841 – 1901
  • New Monkland Parish (651), 1841 – 1901
  • Shotts Parish (655), 1841 – 1881

The Census Returns are on microfilm.

Census Indices

We have paper, microfiche or digital finding aids for a number of censuses:

  • 1881 British Census and National Index – Searchable CD ROM
  • Lanarkshire Census Index (1851) – Searchable CD ROM
  • Lanarkshire Census Index (1861) – Searchable CD ROM
  • Place name Indices for all local censuses, 1841 to 1901 – on paper
  • Old Monkland Name Index (1851). – on paper and microfiche
  • New Monkland Name Index(1851) – on paper and microfiche
  • Shotts name index (1861) – on microfiche
  • Cambusnethan name index (1861) – on microfiche

Scotland’s People and Ancestry

The Scotland’s People website is the definitive website for researching Scottish Ancestry. It is operated by the National Records of Scotland. On this website you can access Statutory Registrations of births, marriages and deaths, church records, census returns and wills and testaments from every part of Scotland. It is a fee paying site, but properly navigated it is a very economic method of accessing these records. Advice and instruction on the use of the Scotland’s People website is available from the staff in the Airdrie Local Studies Room. In addition, visitors can enjoy free access to the world’s largest family history website Ancestry. For more in-depth guidance, we can offer an hour long, one-to-one, family history session for beginners. Booking is essential for one-to-one sessions. Contact the Local History Officer to make an appointment and for current charges.

Electoral Registers

Lists of registered voters:

  • Burgh of Airdrie, 1919 – 1974 (incomplete)
  • Burgh of Coatbridge, 1919 – 1974 (incomplete)
  • Monklands District Council, 1976 – 1995
  • Airdrie & Shotts District, 1996 – present
  • Coatbridge & Chryston 1996 – 2005

Old Valuation Rolls

A listing of householders and property owners carried out annually for the purpose of levying the Rates (local taxation).

  • Burgh of Airdrie, 1855 – 1950, 1961 – 1974
  • Burgh of Coatbridge, 1885 – 1950, 1967 – 1974
  • Monklands District Council, 1975 – 1993

Abridged Registers of Sasines

Abbreviated records of possession of feudal property.

County of Lanarkshire, 1831 – 1947

International Genealogical Index (IGI)

An alphabetical index of births, christenings and marriages for the whole of Scotland (by County) covering the period from the 17thcentury to the mid 19th century. Compiled by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) from the Old Parochial Registers held in the Scottish Record Office. The I.G.I. is a good finding-aid for use in conjunction with the Old Parochial Registers. We also have indices for England, Wales and Ireland. Available on microfiche and free online.

Graveyard Headstone Inscription Listings

Limited surveys of some graveyards in New Monkland (4), Old Monkland (1) and Cumbernauld(1). Also Mitchell’s Monumental Inscriptions in Stirlingshire and Dunbartonshire.