In this guide
Before you start
- Make sure you are eligible to use the online request system:
- You must have registered with the National Library of Scotland. You can register online, which will give you a library card number to use with the online request system. When you visit for the first time, you can complete the process and get your card to use the reading rooms
- You must have a valid library card.
- Check that the item you want is available to request online: see next section.
- To order some material online, you must have an email address.
What you can / cannot order online
You can order books and monographs that registered readers can consult in the General Reading Room and the Special Collections Reading Room. The main catalogue will tell you where the item you want is stored and where you can consult it.
You can order online:
- Books and monographs, including rare book collections
- Journals, newspapers, serial publications (e.g. annual directories)
- Microfilm, microfiches, CD-ROMs
- Legal material held by the Advocates Library.
- Manuscript collections (only from within the Special Collections Reading Room)
To request these items, you must use only the online system. You will be able to request up to a maximum of 10 items of General Collection material or six items of Special Collection material.
You cannot order online:
- Moving image collections
- Material in the process of being catalogued
- Material on the open shelves in the General Reading Room
- Material which is not in the main catalogue.
To request these items, you can either speak to a member of staff in the General Reading Room or email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0131 623 3820.
How to request items online
There are six steps to preordering books through the main catalogue:
- Step 1 — Make sure you have your
library card number handy:
- You need this number to use the system
- Step 2 — Make sure you have your email
address and password handy:
- You need these to order journals, serials, newspapers, microfilms / microfiche, directories, CD ROMs or legal material held by the Advocates Library
- If you don't have an email address and password, please speak to a member of staff or contact us at email@example.com
- Step 3 — Log in to the online
- Go to the main catalogue and use the 'Login' button on the 'simple search' screen to enter the system
- Enter your library card number and your surname. Make sure you type the number zero (0) and not the letter 'o'
- Click the 'Login' button again
- Step 4 — Search for your
- Enter the details of your item in the search box
- On the results page, follow the link to the catalogue record for the item
- Step 5 — Request the item:
- Use the 'OK' button on the catalogue record to continue
- Step 6 — Enter your details:
- On the next screen — 'book request' — enter your library card number
- Use the 'comments' box to give us relevant information, for
- Tell us if you have a specific date when you want to view material. Remember not to request items more than six days in advance of your visit
- On the next screen — non-book item (e.g. journals, serials,
newspapers, microfilms/microfiche, directories, CD ROMs or legal
material held by the Advocates Library) — 'Click to fill in details
of your order' using the Alternative Request form:
- Login with your email address and password
- Choose the correct 'holding' for the date / volume you want to request
- Specify the volume / date in the box
- Use the 'Submit' button to send your request.
Collect your material
When you submit an order you will be given an indication of how long the item will take to arrive.
- Collect General Collection items from the Collection / Return Desk.
- Collect Rare Book Collection items in the Special Collections Reading Room
Track your request
For books, go to 'My account' in the main catalogue to check the progress of your request and view any recent past requests.
For material ordered on the Alternative Request form, ask staff at the Collection / Return Desk or phone 0131 623 3822.
Please note: We only process requests during our normal opening hours. If you submit your request remotely outwith these hours, we cannot process it immediately.