Guide for librarians
On this page
Document supply services to other libraries are managed by the Reference Services Team at the National Library of Scotland. Visit the document supply pages to find out how to make a request and what services we offer, and to see the price list.
National Library catalogues
Some of our eResources (formerly called licensed digital collections) are only available to visitors to our reading rooms in Edinburgh or, from 14 September 2016, in Kelvin Hall in Glasgow. Others are available to use from any computer with internet access if you have a library card or if you register online and your main address is in Scotland.
A national project was carried out to preserve fragile, historic local newspapers by copying them to microfilm and increasing access to their content through local libraries. NEWSPLAN Scotland, one of 10 regional offices, is based at the National Library of Scotland.
Online reference service
The National Library of Scotland is part of the global reference network that provides an online service for general reference enquiries. One of the key elements of the Ask a Librarian service is that an enquiry may be forwarded to another library in the network, if its resources make it better placed to answer the query.
Rare Books in Scotland forum
Rare Books in Scotland (RBiS) is a forum for staff in Scottish libraries and other organisations who are responsible for collections of rare books. The forum is affiliated to SCURL and facilitated by the National Library of Scotland. New members are always welcome.
What we collect
If you are interested in the scope of our collections, you'll find links on the policy documents page to PDF documents covering our various collection policies. Also on this page is our cataloguing policies document and the full text of the National Library of Scotland's strategy document and corporate plan.
If you plan to use reading rooms, you may need to know where to find us, when we open, and what services we offer — such as:
- Copying services
- Photocopying charges
- Library cards: visitors need a card to use our Edinburgh reading rooms
- Location maps.
Consult our staff and departments directory for details if you know the name of the person you want to contact, or to browse by department.
Our contacts page also has the postal addresses and phone and fax numbers for our two buildings with public access. There is a list of the email addresses (and in some cases phone and fax numbers) for the main National Library departments.
Useful links — libraries and information resources
- CAIRNS: Co-operative Academic Information
Retrieval Network for Scotland
CAIRNS aims to integrate Z39.50 compliant library catalogues across Scotland into a single service for cross-searching.
- Centre for Digital Library Research,
University of Strathclyde
An important source of digital information: the home of BUBL (the Bulletin Board for Libraries) and projects like CAIRNS, SCONE, etc.
This union catalogue gives free access to the merged online catalogues of 26 university research libraries and national libraries in the UK, including the National Library of Scotland.
- SALSER: Scottish Academic Libraries
SALSER provides a web-based union catalogue of serial holdings in Scottish university and research libraries, along with a gateway to the libraries' own OPACs.
Confederation of University and Research Libraries
The umbrella body for Scotland's university and research libraries.
- SLAINTE: Scottish Libraries Across the
Includes many types of information relating to Scottish libraries.