Collections

Poster and books

The National Library of Scotland is Scotland's largest library. As well as over 15 million printed items, we have seven million manuscripts, two million maps, over 32,000 films, and 25,000 newspaper and magazine titles.

We collect around 5,000 items each week, and have material in 490 languages.

In this section, our specialist collecting departments give guidance on different areas of our collections. Brief summaries below give you an outline of information in each section.

See also:


Brief summary:

  • British
    How we collect British and Scottish materials, particularly through the legal deposit privilege. Includes the Scottish Theatre Programmes Database and National Poetry Day.
  • Business
    Scottish Business Information Services and business resources at the National Library of Scotland.
  • Digital collections
    Details of digitised material available online from NLS. This includes items from our collections, plus extensive resources we are licensed to provide to registered readers who live in Scotland.
  • Foreign
    Our foreign publications include material with a strong Scottish connection, works on foreign cultures, mountaineering and polar collections, and collections relating to the visual arts.
  • Manuscripts
    Introduction to Manuscript Collections at the National Library of Scotland.
  • Maps
    Find out about our map services and our collection of around two million maps and map-related material, such as gazetteers and guidebooks. More than 40,000 online maps available.
  • Music Collections
    NLS music collections range from early music to pop, with a strong Scottish emphasis. Includes printed music and sound recordings.
  • Newspapers Collections
    A summary of our collection of newspapers - one of the largest in the UK, covering a wide range from the earliest newspaper to online titles. Includes the Guide to Scottish Newspaper Indexes.
  • Official Publications
    Principal features are publications received from the Scottish and Westminster parliaments, the Scottish Government, all government-funded bodies (except the BBC). Also includes United States, Commonwealth, and United Nations publications.
  • Rare books
    Details of Rare Book Collections of printed material dating from 1455 to the present day, as well as new acquisitions, services and professional information.
  • Science and Technology
    The Science Information Service is the main NLS source for science and technical information, providing enquiry and search services. this section includes an extensive range of links to science sites.
  • Scottish
    General information about Modern Scottish collections, how we collect Scottish material and about the legal deposit collections.
  • Scottish Screen Archive
    Scotland's national moving image collection has 100 years of Scottish history on film and video. See over 1,600 clips and full films online on the archive website.
  • List of topics
    An alphabetical list to help you get quickly to subjects in the collections category.



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