How to find things in the Library

Video guide 2

The video on this page will show you how to get started finding things from our vast collection of over 14 million books, journals, films, and more.


Use the search box first

If you have a particular topic in mind and want to know the different types of items we have in our collections, use the search box above. If you already know what you're looking for, you can search our online catalogues.

Watch video guide 3 to discover what you can access from home, work or on any device with an internet connection.


Preorder material for your visit

If you find items which are only available for consultation in person and are planning to visit the Library, we recommend that you preorder them. All our items are held in storage and can take up to two hours to arrive at the Collection Desk.

Some items, like early newspapers or journals, are not available to preorder online, but you can order them by emailing your request to

Watch video guide 4 to find out what you need to know if you're visiting the Library in person.


We're here to help

Not everything in our collections is catalogued online. So if you can't find what you're looking for, or if you feel that you need a little more help searching, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Tel (direct dial): 0131 623 3820
Online: Ask a Librarian global web-based reference service.


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