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

Coming up …


11 December 2015 to 29 May 2016

Illustration of a rat

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

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

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

See our past exhibitions



Treasures displays


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 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
Special notice: Early closing of George IV Bridge builidng on 24 September


Speak me