Catalogues and databases

Several National Library of Scotland catalogues, indexes and databases are available online to help you find items in our collections. Read the summaries of catalogues and databases for an idea of what each resource covers.

Summaries of catalogue and databases:

  • Main catalogue: The NLS main catalogue has over four million records covering most of the printed collections. You can also access the Advocates Library catalogue and request material before you visit the reading rooms. There is guidance on use of our records and our Z39.50 profile. Read more about the main catalogue. Main catalogue in Gaelic / prìomh chatalog
  • Manuscript catalogues and databases: We have a number of online finding aids that cover our manuscripts collections.
  • Scots Abroad databases: Four databases with details of material in NLS collections relating to the experiences of Scots overseas, particularly Scottish emigration.
  • Special and named printed collections (SNPC): A database with details of over 160 of our special collections.
  • Scottish theatre programmes database: Listings of programmes, playbills and posters from Scottish theatres and other venues, dating from 1900 onwards, held in NLS collections.
  • Rare Books important acquisitions directory: A regularly updated directory giving details of some of the most important items added to our rare book collections.
  • Scottish song index: This pilot database lets you trace some Scottish songs through their publication history. It is a conversion of part of the song card index at NLS.
  • Scottish Bibliographies Online: A database with three separate components, including Scotland's national bibliography, which has records of material held in NLS collections and elsewhere.
  • Bibliography of Scottish Literature in Translation: A database listing over 20,000 foreign translations of the works a wide range of Scottish authors from 1500 onwards. Covers NLS collections and other sources.
  • Millgate Union Catalogue of Walter Scott Correspondence: A listing of worldwide locations of letters to and from Sir Walter Scott.
  • Guide to Scottish newspaper indexes: A database giving details of Scottish newspaper titles that have an index.
  • US and Canadian newspaper holdings in Scottish libraries: A directory of North American newspapers and news magazines held in Scottish libraries.
  • Scottish Book Trade Index (SBTI): An index of printers, publishers, booksellers, bookbinders, printmakers, stationers and papermakers who were based in Scotland up to around 1850.
  • Scottish Books 1505-1660 (Aldis updated): A checklist of books printed in Scotland, or outside Scotland for the Scottish market, before 1641.


NLS catalogues overview

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