Learning at the Library - Community groups
Find out what resources, services and activities for community groups are available from the National Library of Scotland.
In this section
Discover your family history
NLS has a range of material to help you trace your roots. Once you become a reader, you can explore, free of charge:
- International Genealogical Index — a CD-ROM with details of millions of individuals from around the world
- Old parochial records — these Church of Scotland records are available to consult on microfiche
- Monumental inscriptions — records of pre-1855 gravestones
- Census information — 1881 census on CD-ROM
- Local history material — books such as the 1790s Statistical Account of Scotland.
You can also find:
- Trade and street directories
- Professional directories
- Army and Navy lists
- Matriculation and graduation Rrolls
- Emigrant lists
- Family histories and biographies
See our introduction to family history for more information.
There are more than 13 million printed items in the NLS collections, and you can explore a growing number of them online. The Digital gallery has information on a range of our treasures, from the last letter written by Mary Queen of Scots to old newspapers and broadsides. Discover more about the history and literature of Scotland! Find out which scientists from the past were selected by public vote for our 'Scottish Science Hall of Fame'.
Ask a Librarian
General reference enquiries can be sent to us online using our Ask a Librarian form. NLS is part of a global network of libraries offering this reference service, and may forward your enquiry to another library if its resources make it better placed to provide the answer.
Science Information Service
The Science Information Service can help you find out how to make the most of the Library's collections of material on all science and technology subjects. Staff can also trace more difficult and obscure references for you from among our printed and electronic resources. For more on these collections — including links to sites for 'junior scientists' — see Science and Technology Collections
You may be interested to know that a nationwide initiative started in 2000 has resulted in thousands of local newspapers being preserved by being copied on to microfilm. These are now available through local libraries and are a valuable resource for local history projects. More about NEWSPLAN Scotland.
Using the Library
You need a library card to use the services and resources in our reading rooms. The Using the Library section tells you how to apply for a card, what our opening hours are, how to get to our main buildings, and what facilities will be available to you. You might also find our page of researchers' FAQs helpful.
For more information on services for community groups, call Education and Outreach Officer Beverley Casebow on 0131 623 3700, or email firstname.lastname@example.org