Preorders and reserves
You can arrange to have books or manuscripts placed on reserve in preparation for a visit to the Special Collections Reading Room.
You should preorder manuscripts at least 48 hours before you visit the Library. Although there is no need to preorder material for use during the day, please note that you must preorder manuscripts for use after 16.00.
We keep reserved manuscripts for up to six working days. When you arrive, please tell the invigilator in the Special Collections Reading Room that you have material on reserve. Reserved manuscripts are delivered on request within a few minutes of your arrival in the Special Collections Reading Room.
Preordering rare books
- Service availability, 30 November to 9 December: The online book request system will be unavailable for several days from 30 November. See our service disruption page for details.
Not available to preorder online:
- Serials and newspapers
- Advocates Library books (shelfmark: Law)
- Reference books on reading room shelves
- Pre-1501 books (incunables, shelfmark: Inc)
- Crawford collections (shelfmark: Crawford)
- Music collections.
You should preorder rare books at least 48 hours before you visit the Library. We can fetch many books more quickly than this, but we keep some in another building and cannot guarantee that any books will be delivered in less than 48 hours. If you preorder by email please ensure you receive confirmation of your order before coming to the Library.
After consulting material in the Special Collections Reading Room you may reserve items for up to six working days. To reserve items, fill in a blue reservation slip and return it to the staff at the Collection and Return desk with the items.
See the Special Collections Reading Room enquiries page for contact details.