Causewayside Building access and facilities

  • Wheelchair access: Due to building works, the access ramp to the Maps Reading Room is reduced at one point to a minimum width of 750mm. Please contact Maps Reading Room staff before you visit if this will cause access problems for you and we will make alternative arrangements for you to view the maps collection. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Our Causewayside Building houses the Maps Reading Room

For accessibility information about our other reading rooms, see the page on the George IV Bridge Building. We also provide a website accessibility statement, and have published our Disability Equality Scheme.


NLS Causewayside Building

Badge holders can park in Salisbury Place, Upper Gray Street, or Causewayside. View location map.

Opening times

The Maps Reading Room is open from 09.30 to 17.00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 10.00 to 17.00 on Wednesday, and from 09.30 to 13.00 on Saturday (reduced service).

Entering the building

The public entrance is at 159 Causewayside, and is at street level. There are two adjacent entrances, a revolving door and a wheelchair accessible door. Please ring the bell if you need any assistance. Immediately inside the building there is short ramp to the front desk, where there is always a member of staff who can help you.


Bags larger than A4 size are not allowed in the reading room, so you must leave them in the supervised cloakroom. If you need to take a bag or other equipment with you while you work, please explain the circumstances to staff, who will do what is needed to ensure you can work in the Maps Reading Room.

Access to the reading room

People in a wheelchair or with restricted mobility are welcome to visit the Maps Reading Room. Please let staff know if there are any adjustments you need, so that they can ensure you have a comfortable workspace, e.g. please let staff know if you wish a desk or chair adjusting for you.


When you enter the Maps Reading Room, staff on the front desk will welcome you and direct you to the lockers. Advice on using the Library is given here. Staff help all users to identify the maps they need, and will fetch them for you. Retrieval of maps usually takes a few minutes. Please note that there is a reduced service on Saturday mornings for all Maps Reading Room visitors.


An adjustable height table, adjustable chairs and two footrests are available for use by readers. Staff will help you to use these. We can also supply magnifying glasses and aids for keeping books open, and book rests are provided as standard equipment. A folding wheelchair is available.

Many early maps of Scotland are digitally scanned as high-resolution images, which allow you to zoom into details. Some of these are also available on our website, in the Digital Library.

Reference material

Some of the books and atlases in the reading room are stored on high shelves. Staff are happy to bring you the books you need if you have difficulty reaching these shelves. Power sockets for lap-tops are on the reading desks. Please check about the suitability of using your own specialist equipment before coming to the Maps Reading Room.

Services and facilities

  • Toilets
    There is a unisex accessible toilet on the ground floor.
  • Assistance dogs
    Assistance dogs are admitted to the building.
  • For hearing impaired visitors
    A fixed induction loop is available at the public counter.

Emergency procedures

Staff will help you to leave by the front entrance to Causewayside.

More information

Maps Collections staff will be happy to discuss any queries you may have about facilities at Causewayside. Contact details are in the Maps section of this site.

Your views on our service

We recognise the importance of getting the views of disabled people in order to develop our service. If you have visited the Library, please take a few minutes to complete this survey. All responses will be entirely confidential. Contact us if you would like us to send you the survey in another format.

Using the Library

Speak me