The first manuscript was acquired by the National Library of Scotland's predecessor, the Advocates Library, in 1683, and since 1925 the Library has been the repository of the major collections of manuscripts and archives, which cover many aspects of the lives, activities and interests of Scots at home and abroad.
Personal access to the manuscript collections is open to all holders of a library card, and we aim to improve access for external users as work progresses to make more of our finding aids and catalogues available online.
A small number of our manuscript collections have restricted access. These require prior notice and, in some cases, permission to view. If you are in doubt about access to a collection, please email email@example.com at least two working days in advance of your visit. You may also like to refer to our list of manuscript curators which details their areas of curatorial responsibility.
Manuscript catalogues and guides can be accessed from this page to bring up online resources already available.