Transcript of a video guide to resources at the National Library of Scotland for those studying for advanced highers
[Image: National Library of Scotland Logo]
This video is here to help you get started with using the National Library. The National Library is Scotland’s largest library and offers a huge variety of resources which are free to use. It's based in Edinburgh, with buildings on George IV Bridge and Causewayside. There are also facilities in the Kelvin Hall building in Glasgow. However, access to the library's resources are not limited to the buildings; there is a multitude of different resources available online, many of which can be accessed from home at www.nls.uk.
Signing up online is quick and simple, you just have to fill in your name and address. If you have a Scottish home address, signing up gives you immediate access to the online resources using the email address you registered with and your password. There is a massive range of things available; digitised books and manuscripts, journals, newspapers and more.
To get started, you can look at the list of available resources.
They can be browsed by title or subject.
Many of them are available remotely, but some of the resources are only available through on-site computers in one of the library buildings.
The different types of access are clearly marked on each resource.
JSTOR is one of the resources you can access from home through the library's website. They have a massive collection of academic journals and e-books on a variety of subjects.
With the advanced search option, you can search for keywords in the author, title or abstract. You can also filter the results by item type, language, publication date and subject. This is great for narrowing down search results to show the most relevant material. Keep in mind that JSTOR doesn't have published material from the last three years, so more recently published works won't be visible here.
Another of the available resources is Factiva. This gives you access to leading newspapers and other news sources from all around the world. Again, they have an advanced search option called 'search builder'. Here, you can filter results by author, subject, industry, region and more. Factiva could be really useful if you’re looking at current events, politics, or even for finding book reviews on recent books.
The Encyclopedia of Early Modern History is another great resource available through the library. This site gives information on European history from 1450-1850.
The volumes are organised alphabetically by subject, so you can easily locate information for whichever topic you're looking for.
When you click an entry, you can see some general information on the topic, and if you scroll down to the bibliography, you can see more sources for the same topic. This would be really useful for research, as it gives you all the details you would need to find the sources listed.
The digital gallery is another great online resource on the library website.
These resources can be viewed from home or school without logging in to the website. The digital gallery contains digitised texts, manuscripts and images on a variety of subjects. Like the e-resources, the digital gallery can be viewed in an A-Z list or by category.
There are lots of resources for classical texts and authors which would be useful for studying. For example, this resource contains information about the life and works of Robert Burns. It allows you to see digitised photographs, letter excerpts and even audio clips of some of his most well-known poems.
Under the 'legacy' tab, there is also a list of links for potential further reading, which would be great for research.
There are also resources for more contemporary authors. The Muriel Spark resource provides information on the life and works of one of Scotland's most prolific writers. There are also examples of the many original items in the library’s archive, like letters, telegrams and photographs.
The 'Experiences of the Great War' resource is another good example. This site offers insight into four different people's experiences during the First World War. It's got loads of good information about war-time life from vastly different perspectives and has links to other sources as well.
On the resources tab you are directed to photos, maps and even video clips from the Moving Image Archive.
The Moving Image Archive, based in the Kelvin Hall building, is another great resource which allows you to view thousands of clips and full-length films.
The library also has great resources for when you need to access physical books.
The catalogue can be searched on the website. The advanced search option allows you to search by title, author, subject, publisher and more.
You can search library collections only or do an extended search which includes electronic content as well as the physical collections.
The results can be filtered by material type, language and publication date.
Since the books aren't kept on shelves, when you find the item you're looking for, you have to request it. The books are then brought up to the desk and you can just collect them and browse them in the reading rooms.
It can take a while to retrieve the books depending on where they are stored, so it's a good idea to request your items before visiting.
There is an enquiry page on the website for any questions, and also a chat service available Monday-Friday from 10 til 4. If you’re a student, you could also ask your school librarian for help.
You need to have a library card to access the reading rooms, but if you're already registered online the all you need to take is a photo ID and proof of address. They just need to take your picture at the registration desk and then your card is ready in minutes.
The books can't be borrowed, but you can view them in the reading rooms and can reserve them for six working days. You can also take laptops, paper and a pencil in, so you can make notes on the text you're looking at.
Thanks for watching, remember you can ask us for help any time via Library Chat, submitting an enquiry or talking to staff on-site.