Search Room

NCAP Search Room workstation

Visit us

It is free to visit our search room to search for and consult catalogued aerial imagery. An appointment is necessary to guarantee a workstation and the availability of expert staff. All of our catalogued finding aids are available to view on our website and most searches can be conducted from home or office. You must provide us with a list of the images you wish to consult when making your search room booking.


  • Use our website or visit the search room to view our catalogued finding aids
  • For imagery of Scotland, download and use our Barcode List to identify the boxes you want to see
  • For imagery of Europe, download and use our Microfilm List to identify the reels you want to see
  • Download and complete our Record Request Form
  • Make an appointment to view aerial photographs using our search room booking form



Opening Hours

Monday Closed
Tuesday 10.00am - 4.30pm
Wednesday 10.00am - 4.30pm
Thursday 10.00am - 4.30pm
Friday 10.00am - 4.30pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed
Public/Local Holidays Closed

We will confirm your booking by e-mail within 2 working days, or provide alternative dates.


Imagery retrieval 

All of our aerial photography of Scotland is now held in off-site storage. Requests to consult aerial imagery of Scotland must be submitted in advance, using the Record Request Form. At any one time, a maximum of 9 boxes of prints may be consulted at a workstation. 


In the search room, visitors can view post-1945 aerial photography of Scotland in print format and 1939-1945 imagery of Western Europe on microfilm. For conservation reasons, when digital imagery is available on our website hard-copy prints are no longer provided for viewing. We continue to direct our resources towards making imagery and finding aids available for consultation online.


If you have a website subscription, you can download the Record Request Form, print it off and complete it before your appointment. Use the Barcode List and Microfilm List to identify the boxes of prints (for imagery of Scotland) and microfilm reels (for imagery of Europe) you wish to request.


Finding aids

The finding aids used to identify catalogued imagery of places throughout the world are available on our website. Subscriber-level access to our website is provided free of charge at each workstation. From the sortie plot finding aids it is possible to identify footprint information for each aerial photograph, which can then be ordered for retrieval from storage and viewed by appointment on a subsequent date. 


Research-quality imagery

For conservation reasons, it is not possible for search-room visitors to make their own copies or to take photographs. Research-quality copies of imagery viewed in the search room may be ordered. These are supplied as 72ppi jpeg files. See our price-list for information.


Where we are

The National Collection of Aerial Photography
Unit 3, Seven Hills Business Park
41 Bankhead Crossway South
EH11 4EP
United Kingdom


Planning your journey

For information on planning journeys by public transport within Scotland, please visit Traveline Scotland.

  • Train - The nearest railway station is Edinburgh Park. To plan a journey please visit National Rail Enquiries.
  • Tram - The nearest tram stops are Edinburgh Park and Bankhead. To plan a journey please visit Edinburgh Trams.
  • Air - The nearest airport is Edinburgh (EDI). To plan a flight please visit Edinburgh Airport.
  • Bicycle - We are located near the National Cycle Network.  A bicycle shed is available to the front of the building, although they are parked at your own risk. To plan your journey please visit sustrans.
  • Car/Motorbike - There is limited free parking to the front of the building. Parking spaces are available for disabled visitors. Vehicles are parked at your own risk.



Ensuring that our building and services are accessible to all our visitors is important to us. We aim to create an environment that is welcoming and accessible. There is a lift to our Search Room and our building is wheelchair accessible.

Please contact us before your visit if you have any questions about accessibility.

Digital Imaging

Every year we digitise thousands of aerial images for our customers and website.


We clean and preserve all prints and films sent for digitisation.

About our image sales

Did you know that you can purchase digital images online?


Simply locate your image and click "buy". Images ordered for personal-use can be accessed immediately after payment.



NCAP Subscriptions

Zoom and pan all of the aerial images on our website at 300 ppi resolution, and all of our catalogued Finding Aids, with a subscription.


Finding aids show the geographic area covered by each photograph within a mission. Use them to identify and order copies of photographs that have not yet been digitised and uploaded to our website.


Subscriptions are available for Personal or Commercial/Institutional use.