Library cards

Anyone can get a library card to use National Library of Scotland collections and services. We support the work of academic researchers, although you do not need academic credentials to use the Library. We welcome a wide range of users.

We have two types of card available:

You must provide evidence of identity and address when you apply for your card at Readers' Registration.

You need a library cards for admission to all NLS reading rooms, including the Maps Reading Room.


Online registration

You can register online to start the registration process before you visit. This will shorten the time it will take for us to issue your library card on your first visit to us in person.

You will be able to use your library card number right away to request books via the main catalogue in advance of a visit to the reading rooms. You may also be able to access some of our licensed digital collections from any computer outwith the Library.

Cards for students

Special admission procedures apply to school, college and undergraduate university students. See short-term card page for details.

Terms and conditions of use

Please read the Library's terms and conditions, which cover use of the reading rooms and your registration details.

Note that the National Library is not a lending library. You have to consult our material in the reading rooms or, where available, online.


Using the Library

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