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Staff records


A Recognised Collection of National Importance

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Most surviving official records of Scotland's shale oil companies now form part of the BP archive, and are currently held within our museum. Unfortunately no wages books, or other lists of employees, have survived within these documents, and most references to individuals occur as incidental mentions within legal and company papers. Thankfully a handful of personnel records, discarded at an earlier period, have survived to find their way into our museum collection.

We are continually extracting relevant information from these archives and adding this to our database. Currently over two thousand individuals are listed, however this remains a tiny proportion of the tens of thousands who were at one time employees, contractors, or tenants of the oil companies. The names of most of those who once served the industry may never be known.


As some of the records from the industry relate to the relatively recent past, it is not always possible for us to ascertain whether individuals are living or deceased. Following guidance on Data Protection from The National Archives, only records relating to individuals who are known to be deceased or were born more than 75 years ago can be published in full. If we have inadvertently published full records relating to a living individual and you would like this data removed, please contact us.

Information within this database has been extracted from the following sources:

  • Time Book, Uphall Oil Company, 1881-1882
  • Employee Record Cards, Scottish Oils Ltd, 1887-1962
  • Apprentices Book, Scottish Oils Ltd, Middleton Hall, 1920–1967
  • National Insurance Contribution Record Book, Scottish Oils Ltd, Middleton Hall, 1957-1966
  • Various references and letters dating from 1911-1967
  • BP Magazine Supplement No 7, notices of retirements and deaths, 1959
  • Pumpherston Tenant Book, Pumpherston Oil Company, 1884-1958
  • Salaries book (white collar employees), Scottish Oils Ltd, Middleton Hall, 1921-1941
  • Accident Books from Westwood Pit, dating from 1951-1961, Oakbank Oil Company Ltd and Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Company Ltd

Click here to search each source individually.