Research tools

We have online resources that you can access with a National Library of Scotland (NLS) login. If your main address is in Scotland you can use many of these from any computer.

To register for access, go to licensed digital collections.

There are also a number of resources there that you can use without having to register.

We recommend the following resources for:

  • Teachers researching a topic
  • Higher / Advanced Higher pupils carrying out independent research.

British Literary Manuscripts Online circa 1660-1900
A full-text digital archive containing over 600,000 pages of author manuscripts including poems, plays, novels, private correspondence, and diaries, providing an intimate look into the lives and works of Britain's major writers across 200 years.

Credo Reference
Credo is an online reference tool with trusted content sourced from academic publishers and contains:

  • Full-text entries from encyclopaedias, dictionaries, reference works and more
  • Image databases and topic pages giving overviews of hundreds of subject areas.

Early English Books Online
A full-text digital archive of some 100,000 books printed between 1473 and 1700. This consists of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and British North America, and works in English printed elsewhere.

18th-century Collections Online, Parts 1 and 2
A full-text digital archive of over 200,000 books printed between 1701 and 1800. In essence, every significant title printed in the United Kingdom and the former British territories is available, along with thousands of important works from the Americas.

Website where you can search for items from across Europe in:

  • Museums, including the Rijksmuseum
  • Galleries, including the Louvre
  • Archives
  • Library collections, including the British Library

Site includes images, film, audio, and text. Captions are often provided in the language of origin


Literature and language main page

Library video guides

Man using laptop seated at table

Watch our video guides to find out how to access National Library of Scotland resources from home, school or in person.

Gaelic Bards of Keppoch

Gaelic text and manuscript detail

Explore the songs of two of Scotland's great Gaelic bards.

Information literacy

'Project Blaster' spaceman

Learn how you can build information literacy skills in the classroom through 'Project Blaster'.

Library favourites

Andrew Martin

Discover why Scots language is alive and well across all sectors of society. Watch video

Library learning for you

If there's a topic you'd like more information about or if you have any suggestions for learning, email us.

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