Consulting the collections
Because the Library is a 'closed access' library, the greater part of our collections are stored in stack areas which are not directly accessible to readers.
To obtain a book, you must consult the relevant catalogue to identify the required item. For books and monographs in the main catalogue which are published after 1850 and can be consulted in the General Reading Room, there is an online book request system which automatically forwards book requests to our Bookfetching Units. Read more on our preorders page or view the online request system guide.
Books are stored in two separate buildings, so delivery times will vary. You must return all books to the Issue Desk not later than 20 minutes before closure.
As the National Library of Scotland is a reference-only library, you must consult all items in our reading rooms. You cannot borrow material for external use.
- Chat online — Monday-Friday, 14.00-16.00 and 18.00-20.00.