Digital collections

Illustration of a preacher in a pulpit addressing a congregation
Illustration from
full-text collection
'Sabin Americana'.

From our extensive digital collections we have a wide range of material you can access online and by visiting us.

All our digital resources are free to use. To access some collections you need to register with us.

Access to online publications, archives and databases

Visit our George IV Bridge Building for free access to thousands of full-text online research resources and abstracts. These eResources (formerly called licensed digital collections) consist of:

  • Hundreds of full-text reference works
  • Thousands of full-text newspapers, journals and reports
  • Hundreds of thousands of digitised books, periodicals and manuscripts spanning over five centuries
  • Millions of records and abstracts via online services and databases.

Once you have a library card you can use any of these resources in our General Reading Room.

Access to digitised Library material online

On our websites you can see:

  • Thousands of photographs, maps, music, books, manuscripts and more — visit the Digital gallery.

See also:

  • Films in digital format: You can watch more than 1,700 full films and short clips via the moving image catalogue. These films reflect Scotland's history and culture, and are part of the Library's Moving Image Archive
  • Websites about Scotland: We collect selected websites reflecting Scotland's culture and knowledge. Snapshots of those we collected between 2004 and 2008 are now part of the UK Web Archive.

Digital preservation

For an overview of digital preservation at at the National Library of Scotland, see our Digital Preservation Policy (PDF) (4 pages; 114 KB).

To find out what practical steps we plan to take for preserving digital material, read our digital preservation programme document.

As the digital revolution continues, publishers and the public are creating and using more digital information than ever before. The shift from print and paper to electronic publishing has profound effects on libraries.

At the Library we are committed to preserving access to digital collections in the same way that we've cared for our print collections for over 200 years.


Collections overview

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