Visit the free exhibitions in our George IV Bridge Building. Open daily, except on some public holidays. No need to book.

Now showing …


11 December 2015 to 29 May 2016

Illustration of a rat

Learn about Scotland's history of contagions in our exhibition.

Understand how the country was ravaged by pustular horrors, including the black death, cholera, typhus, smallpox and other plagues.

We also highlight the range of reactions to them: by government, in literature and religion, in folklore and the press, and by science and medicine.

'Plague!' exhibition



Treasures displays

Now showing:

Theatre programmes

View a small sample of the many treasures in the National Library of Scotland's collections. From hand-written documents to printed books, maps, musical scores, bindings and other art work.

All our treasures are important pieces of Scotland's cultural heritage. Some are unique. Some are beautiful. Some are huge. Some are tiny. Some are rarely seen in public because their age makes them fragile.

Throughout the year we change the theme of the treasures display, bringing to light more of the millions of items we hold.

Read more about our treasures displays



Mini displays

Now showing:

Letters in a letterpress for printing

Drop into the National Library of Scotland for a glimpse into our themed mini displays.

Our curators select a small sample from the collections, on display for a short time in the foyer of the Library's George IV building.


Read more about our mini displays



The John Murray Archive

Permanent exhibition.

Lady Caroline Lamb
Lady Caroline Lamb.

The writers and thinkers of John Murray's publishing firm shaped the modern world through their works of literature, science, exploration and politics.

This exhibition draws on material from the John Murray Archive. It uses state-of-the-art exhibition technology to bring to life the work and lives of a selection of the publisher's most influential figures.

Those featured in the present line-up include Lord Byron, Lady Caroline Lamb, Charles Darwin and David Livingstone.

Learn how they contributed to one of the greatest periods of human progress and creativity. See if you could publish your own international bestseller.


Opening times for exhibitions at the Library

Monday to Friday: 10.00-20.00
Saturday: 10.00-17.00
Sunday: 14.00-17.00


Speak me