You need to register to use the National Library of Scotland reading rooms.

You can also register for remote access to the eResources (formerly called licensed digital collections) if you have a residential address in Scotland.

You can fill in the online form from your computer at home or by using one of ours in Readers' Registration in the George IV Bridge Building.

Step 1: The online registration form

Go to the online registration start page.

Choose the registration category that applies to you and follow the prompts to fill in the form. Make sure to go right through to the third page of the form to submit it.

Once you've submitted the form, your online registration is complete. 

To get a library card which allows you to visit the reading room, take the appropriate evidence of identity to staff on duty at Readers' Registration. They will check it, take your photograph and issue the card.


Step 2: Your password and first log in

You will get an automatically generated email after registration that gives your password.

When you receive this email, click on the link to go to the online registration page. Use the 'Log in' option there.

Log in link

You will be prompted to enter your email address and the password we have emailed to you.

Screen grab showing login boxes


Step 3: Change your password

Once you have done that, you will be taken to the 'First log in' screen.

For security reasons, you should now change your password to something memorable to you.

Use the 'Update your password' link to navigate to the next screen.

Screen grab with'Update password' link

Enter your new password in the middle box and confirm it in the bottom one.

Click on 'Change password' to complete.

The password we sent to you now no longer works.


Registering for remote access

Step 1: Activate your registration

If your residential address is in Scotland, you have an email address and you have completed the online registration, you can access our extensive range of eResources (formerly called licensed digital collections) from any web-enabled device.

If you haven't applied in person for a library card you need an online activation code to complete the remote access set up. We check the address you've given us by sending this to you by post.

The activation code is only valid for 21 days after registration so you must activate your registration within this time.

If you don't activate your registration within this period for any reason, please contact

Tip: If you visit the library in person between registering online and receiving your activation code by post, staff will do this step for you when you receive your library card. In this case, the activation code will be unnecessary and you should ignore that part of the letter.


Step 2: Log in to your account

When you receive the letter with the activation code, log in to your account using your email address and the password you have set for yourself.

You can log in via the link to eResources on the home page or on any of our web pages with that link.

Screen grab of home page login


Step 3: Enter your activation code

On the next screen, follow the link to 'enter this code'.

Screen grab showing 'enter code' link

Then enter your activation code in the 'Activation code' box, and 'Submit activation key'.

Tip: The activation code in the letter is printed in a font which makes a clear distinction between lower-case 'L', capital 'i' and number 'one'.

If you have been successful, you will see a message that your registration has been activated.

'Enter activation code'

You will then have full access to a range of digital material not generally available to the public.


Contact us

If you follow this guide but still have difficulty with the registration process, email us at and we will do our best to help you.


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