As a result of the 1710 Copyright Act and of the Library's historical background as the library of the Faculty of Advocates, the National Library of Scotland has rich collections of official material, beginning with the House of Lords Journal. Dating from 1509 to the present day, this record of House of Lords proceedings is the Library's oldest currently published periodical.
The Library has a largely comprehensive collection of the publications of the Westminster Parliament from the early 19th century to the present day, together with extensive holdings of the publications of government departments.
The Library receives the publications of the Scottish Parliament. In addition the Library has extensive collections of overseas publications, including material from the United States and Commonwealth countries. The Library acts as a depository library for the United Nations and for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Mention should also be made of the Library's India Papers collection of published documents relating to the British administration in India from the post-Mutiny re-organisation of the Indian government to Indian independence in 1947.
The collection includes a number of items not readily available elsewhere. A separate loose-leaf catalogue is available from the Library's Issue Hall for these publications.
It should be noted that in accordance with the terms of National Library of Scotland Act of 1925 acts of parliament are transferred to the Advocates Library. Users may consult this material upon application in the Issue Hall.