- Online you can
- For personal visits
Using the Library
The information here should help you get the most of your visit, whether you use the website or come to see us in Edinburgh.
- Search the main catalogue and
Find details of National Library of Scotland material listed in our main catalogue and on our web pages.
- View digitised
Visit our Digital Gallery for access to maps, broadsides, books, photographs, posters, films and other digitised material.
You can register online to use our password-protected services and pre-register for a library card.
eResources (licensed digital collections)
Without a library card you have free access to selected licensed resources, including family history material. With a card you can search thousands of pages of texts and millions of records and abstracts.
If you have a library card or if you registered online with us, you can preorder books via the main catalogue in advance of your visit to the George IV Bridge Building.
From Monday to Friday, General Reading Room staff can answer quick questions online about material published from 1850 onwards. Chat sessions with a subject expert are also available.
- Ask a
Send us a question using the online form. This service is part of an enquiries network involving libraries all over the world.
- Make a
Freedom of Information request
Anyone has access to information about the Library under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. You can write to us or use our online form.
How to get a library card to use the reading rooms, and what evidence of identification you need to bring with you.
Your library card gives you access to our Edinburgh reading rooms. Find out about the facilities on offer and the kind of material you can consult.
- Kelvin Hall,
Our new premises for discovering and using our digital collections and for events and learning activities.
- Opening hours and pubic
Opening times at Edinburgh and Glasgow.
See how to get to our main buildings.
With your library card you have free access to a wide range of digital resources within our General Reading Room. Some resources are freely available to everyone.
Manual catalogues and indexes in our Edinburgh buildings list details of material that is not available through the online catalogues.
- Access for people with
Details of facilities available in the George IV Bridge and Causewayside buildings for people with special needs.
- Visitor Centre,
In our George IV Bridge building we have a café, shop, exhibition spaces, and computers for accessing National Library websites. Reader's Registration is also in this area.
Find out what tours and visits we can organise for groups, or how to book a speaker to visit your group outwith the Library.
Other useful information
Information for academic researchers interested in collaboration or in research fellowships or scholarships.
Four short videos in the Learning zone to help you get started if you are new to the Library
- Guides for web
Information on how to use particular features on the website or aimed at specific groups of visitors, whether online or in our buildings.
Overviews of what we have in National Library collections, ranging from early manuscripts and rare books to films, newspapers, music, maps and more.
- Copying services and
permission to re-use
Discover what copying we can do for you, what you can photocopy yourself, prices, delivery options, and how to get permission to re-use Library material.
- Terms and
Conditions of use covering access to our reading rooms and collections.
Read about our commitment to you, what we ask of you, and our customer service standards.
Find out about borrowing for exhibitions or about how we can get can get material for you from another library.
An outline of our commitment to answering enquiries.