Lending policy

Document supply

The collections of the National Library of Scotland consist of material acquired via legal deposit, purchase and donation. Subject to individual assessment of suitability for lending, the following categories of material may be available for inter-lending:

  • Purchased and donated second copies of Scottish material
  • Purchased and donated copies of non-Scottish material.

Material received through legal deposit is not available for lending.

Scottish material

Many items of Scottish significance which are not generally available via the British Library Document Supply Centre (BLDSC) were acquired specifically for lending purposes. Duplicate items for lending are now not usually collected. Items in this category, with a publication date of 1901 onwards, may be available for loan both to libraries in the UK and also abroad.

Certain categories of material — for example, items in a poor or fragile condition — may be lent for reference use only in the requesting library (Restricted Loan) rather than for home reading. We may also decline to lend material in these categories.

Non-Scottish material

Much of the non-Scottish material at NLS relates to the culture or history of a country or area. Items with a publication date of 1901 onwards and which are not available via BLDSC, or digitally, may be available for loan to libraries in the UK.

We will Iend items strictly for reference use only in the requesting library. We may also decline to lend material in certain categories — items in a poor or fragile condition, for example.

Conditions of loan

Libraries being supplied with items from NLS collections must adhere to the following conditions of loan:

  • The requesting library is responsible for the security and conservation of items lent by NLS
  • We will charge for lost or damaged items at full replacement costs, plus a non-refundable handling fee and any relevant taxes
  • All items are lent on 'reference use only' terms, the item can only be consulted within the requesting library and it is the responsibility of the requesting library to comply with this
  • Photocopying is only allowed where overhead copying / scanning equipment is in place and must be within copyright limits
  • The requesting library must return items to NLS with full postal insurance to cover the value of the item.

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