National Library of Scotland opens its 'online doors' to users

One million resources previously available only by visiting Scotland's largest research library can now be accessed from your home or office at the click of a button.

More than 1.5 million manuscripts, letters, books, newspapers, and market research reports have been made available online to the public via the National Library of Scotland.

The items are available via 52 licensed digital collections equating to around 9% of the Library's print collection, providing an invaluable resource to a variety of researchers from enthusiasts to academics alike.

John Coll, Head of Access and Enquiries, National Library of Scotland, said: 'I am very excited to see this ambitious project coming to fruition. We are leading the way in Scotland in terms of providing seamless access to such an extensive range of resources. Anyone resident in this country and registering as a reader of the library can gain immediate and free access, via the web, to a vast range of material.'

For those interested in 19th-century material, access is available to a extensive range of periodicals and newspapers which cover the events, lives, values and themes that shaped Victorian society, including a full back catalogue of 'The Times' from 1785-1985 and 'The Scotsman' from 1817-1950.

Britain's major writers also have their own dedicated section on the cutting edge web resource. The 'British Literary Manuscripts Online' category includes more than 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.

The online resource also includes the 'Electronic Enlightenment' collection, offering a full-text digital archive of the correspondence between the greatest thinkers and writers of the 18th century, containing over 53,000 letters and documents from over 6,000 correspondents.

Those interested in modern and current content have not been forgotten. Thousands of local and international newspapers are available to search and browse online, alongside major academic journal collections. And hundreds of up to the minute full-text reference works and academic texts, such as 'Who's Who' and the complete 'Oxford English Dictionary', sit alongside more historic full-text archives containing hundreds of thousands of titles [relevant collections include: 'Infotrac Custom Newspapers', 'Factiva' (news wires and papers), 'Oxford Journals Online', 'JSTOR' (journals), 'Netlibrary' (e-books), 'Credo Reference' (ref e-books), 'Making of the Modern World' (historic full-text archives)].

The remote access collections also offer an insight into the world of commerce. The 'Cobra Complete Business Reference Business Advisor' section contains details on how to start hundreds of different businesses as well as providing thousands of factsheets on running a business. The 'Global Reference Solution' section houses details of more than 150 million companies worldwide, including contact details, an indication of size and ownership and an activity code.

John Coll added: 'Remote access demonstrates the Library's commitment to enriching lives and communities by making a wealth of information freely available to the people of Scotland. It removes the physical and geographical boundaries requiring people to travel to the Library to see this content.

'Our intention is to extend coverage as demand grows. We have a target of increasing usage of existing resources by 25% during the current financial year. Achieving this target will influence our move towards greater remote access.'


National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge

Tel: 0131 623 3700

29 September 2010

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