Please note: We are operating a
pre-booking service for the reading rooms at
present, with revised opening hours. You must also
preorder items you wish to consult at least 24
hours before you arrive.
For full details and booking links, visit the reopening page.
With a library card you can use the National Library of Scotland's reading rooms in Edinburgh. Because we are not a lending library, you have to consult material in the reading rooms or, where available, online. Please read our terms and conditions before you visit.
We have three reading rooms in two buildings. We keep books and journals in both buildings and transfer them on request to the appropriate reading room by a regular van service.
We encourage you to preorder material where appropriate. There is information about this in each reading room section in this part of the website, including details of delivery times.
George IV Bridge Building
- General Reading Room — for journals, newspapers, and most post-1850 printed books not covered by the specialist reading rooms.
- Special Collections Reading Room — for manuscripts, music and rare books (pre-1851 printed books and all printed books in special collections).
- Multimedia Room — for microforms and multimedia.
Access to the General Reading Room and the Multimedia Room is by stairs or lift, and access to the Special Collections Reading Room is by lift only. For more information, please consult our page about access and facilities at George IV Bridge for people with disabilities.
- Maps Reading Room — for maps, atlases, gazetteers, and cartographic reference books.
We also have information on access and facilities at Causewayside for people with disabilities.