The collection of British printed materials at the National Library of Scotland is by far the largest in Scotland. This reflects our special status as a British and Irish legal deposit library.

Our British collection ranks among the four or five largest in the British Isles and probably throughout the world. It greatest virtue lies in the richness and diversity of printed materials of all kinds from the past three centuries.

Extensive collections

The right to receive free of charge a copy of every book published in the United Kingdom and Ireland is based on the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003, and before that the Copyright Act 1911.

This right has enabled the Library to build extensive general collections on all subjects, though it has a special responsibility for the acquisition and preservation of material of Scottish interest.

Non-print publications

The Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 provides the basis for extending this right to include non-print publications, and the Library is looking forward to developing its collections in this area.

Publications received by deposit can be read in the Library's reading rooms, and information about titles can be found in the Library's catalogues.


Collections overview

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