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

Now showing …

You are here: A journey through maps

22 July 2016 to 2 April 2017

Coloured map of the world from 17th century atlas
World map from
the Blaeu Atlas.

How much do we really know about maps?

'You are here' is a National Library of Scotland exhibition that challenges our acceptance of maps.

It poses questions about how they are made and how we understand them. Drawn from our collection of more than two million maps and atlases, each map in the exhibition shows the answer to some or all of those questions.

The maps on display zoom out from the Library itself to the whole world in the shape of the Blaeu Atlas Maior — 'the most beautiful atlas ever made'.

They also include one of the finest plans of Edinburgh and the first map of Scotland, as well as more utilitarian railway, fishing and schoolroom maps.

Together they demonstrate the versatility and beauty of maps and the skill of the cartographers who created them.

Treasures displays

Now showing …

The Scott Monument under construction

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


The John Murray Archive

Permanent exhibition.

Lady Caroline Lamb
Lady Caroline

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