This page offers guidance on how to use Library Search, which replaced the Library's main catalogue in October 2018.
On this page
You do not have to log in to use Library Search.
But you must be registered as a member of the Library if you want to:
- Request material
- Track your requests
- Save searches
- View your search history
For any of these functions, you can log in using the email address and password set up at registration.
If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it by following the link 'Forgot your password' on the Library Search log in page. You will be asked to enter the email address with which you registered, and we will send a link to this email address that will allow you to create a new password which you will remember.
Search for material
Library Search has various search functions, including a basic search, an advanced search, browse functions and an A-Z journals list to help you find material.
Everything or Library collections
The default setting of Library Search is to search Everything, which includes Library collections, plus a large number of e-resources, and high quality resources from databases, other libraries and publishers. If you select Library collections, this provides a more focused search of our printed, manuscript and archive, moving image and digital collections.
Search for books
To find a specific book, you can:
- Click or tap Browse, then Browse by title or Browse by author. You can then enter the title, e.g. 'The Wasp Factory', or the name of the author — surname first, followed by first name — e.g. 'Stevenson, Robert Louis'.
- Use the main search box to either enter keywords from the title or the exact title. For a more focused search, put the exact title in quote marks.
- Use Advanced Search to combine search terms like ISBN number and publisher name, and to filter by material type, language or date.
Search for journals
To find a specific journal, you can:
- Enter the name of the journal in the main search box, e.g. 'Glasgow Herald', and filter your results for journals.
- Use Journals A-Z to look for the title alphabetically.
Search for articles
To find a specific article, you can:
- Search for the journal the article is published in — as above — and then check the holdings to see if the Library has the issue containing the article.
- Enter the article title in the main search box, e.g. 'Why Digital Data Collections Are Important'. Some articles are available online, either through open access, our eResources, or electronic legal deposit.
Search by Library shelfmark
If you know the Library shelfmark of the item you are looking for, you can:
- Enter the shelfmark — e.g. NG.834.b.34 — into the main search box.
- Click or tap Browse, and then Browse by shelfmark and enter the shelfmark.
Search by subject
To find material on a particular subject, you can:
- Click or tap Browse, and then Browse by subject. You can then enter a subject keyword, e.g. 'Heraldry'.
- Use Advanced Search to combine search terms, e.g. 'Heraldry' and 'Scotland'.
Filter your search results
You can use Filter my results to refine your search results. Filters include the following:
- Availability — to sort by 'Full Text Online', 'Available in the Library', etc.
- Resource type — to sort by 'Books', 'Journals', etc.
- Library location — to sort by 'Special Collections Reading Room', 'Reading rooms, open shelves', etc.
Interpret your search results
Each record in the list of search results contains a piece of information telling you more about the item. Examples include the following:
- Multiple versions of this item exist. See all versions. This means there is more than one copy or edition of the item. Click or tap on See all versions to see the individual records for each version of the item.
- Consult in General Reading Room or Consult in Special Collections Reading Room.This means the item is available in as a hard-copy. You must therefore request it for consultation in the relevant reading room.
- Check holdings. This may indicate that the item exists in more than one part — for example, a journal — and that the parts may be stored separately. It may also indicate that there are different copies of the same item. Before you request this item, you will need to select the relevant holding. You can click or tap each holding to find more information.
- Consult in GRR Open Location. This means that the item is available on the open shelves in the General Reading Room and therefore you do not need to request it.
- Online access or Full text available. This means the item is available electronically, for example through the digital gallery, electronic legal deposit or the eResources, and therefore you do not need to request it.
When you have identified a book, journal or other item of interest, if it is not available online or on the open shelves, you will need to request it.
To request an item, you must be logged in to Library Search. Click or tap the title of the item of interest to see the full item record. At the end of each item record, there is information about how it should be requested.
Request this item
Most items have the option to Request this item, which you can click or tap to submit your request. When you have submitted the request, you will receive an email notifying you when your requested item is ready to consult in the relevant reading room.
Alternative request system
If an item does not have the Request this item option, it should be requested using the Alternative request system. Journals, newspapers and Advocates Library material should be requested in this way. To request items using the Alternative request system, you will need to log in again — using the same login details as before.
When you see the full holdings display for the item you should select the relevant holding. Use the comments box to specify the date and volume of the item you require, if applicable, then click or tap Submit this request. You will receive an email notifying you that the request has been made, but it will not appear in your Library Search account.
Track your requests
You can check on the progress of your requests by logging in to Library Search and looking at My Account. My requests lists all the items you have asked for, and My loans lists all the items available for you to consult. You can also check My messages.
Items which have been requested using the Alternative request system such as journals, newspapers and Advocates Library material will not appear on your Library Search account, but you can track the progress of these requests by contacting us.
If you need further help using Library Search, please do not hesitate to contact us in one of the following ways:
- Ask A Librarian online enquiry form
- Chat online, available Monday-Thursday 14.00-18.00, Friday and Saturday 14.00-16.00
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tel: +44 (0)131 6233700 ext 3820 during Library opening hours