From our extensive digital collections we have a wide range of material you can access online and by visiting us.
All our digital resources are free to use. To access some collections you need to join the Library.
On this page
Access to online publications, archives and databases
- Thousands of full-text reference works, newspapers, journals and reports
- Hundreds of thousands of digitised books, periodicals and manuscripts spanning over five centuries
- Millions of records and abstracts via online services and databases.
Access to digitised Library material online
On our websites you can see:
- Thousands of photographs, maps, music, books, manuscripts and more — visit the Digital gallery.
- Films in digital format: You can watch more than 1,700 full films and short clips via the moving image catalogue. These films reflect Scotland's history and culture, and are part of the Library's Moving Image Archive.
- Websites about Scotland: We collect selected websites reflecting Scotland's culture and knowledge. Snapshots of those we collected between 2004 and 2008 are now part of the UK Web Archive.
Selection for digitisation
One of the key priorities in the Library's 2015-2020 strategy, 'The way forward', was to make it easier for people to access our collections.
'Strategic priority 2' also states that we will have a third of our collection in digital format, and will identify the main collection areas for digitisation and take action to make that material available.
We have prepared a paper outlining our approach to this and setting out the criteria for selection.
- Approach to selection for digitisation (PDF) (55 KB; 5 pages)
If you have any questions about selection for digitisation, please email our Digital Transition Manager, Ines Byrne: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For an overview of digital preservation at at the National Library of Scotland, see our Digital Preservation Policy and Plan (PDF) (450 KB; 17 pages).
As the digital revolution continues, publishers and the public are creating and using more digital information than ever before. The shift from print and paper to electronic publishing has profound effects on libraries.
At the Library we are committed to preserving access to digital collections in the same way that we've cared for our print collections for over 200 years.