- Temporary changes to newspaper consultations
- Due to essential building works, some collection items will be temporarily unavailable from 19 December. Find out more about unavailable shelfmarks.
Our George IV Bridge reading rooms accept requests to have books placed on reserve in preparation for a planned visit.
On this page
Online request system
If you are a registered reader you can order material via the online request system, which is available through Library Search. We will keep the items on reserve for you for six working days.
Use this system to order:
- Books and monographs published after 1850 which you consult in the General Reading Room
- Pre-1851 and special collection material which you consult in the Special Collections Reading Room
- Journals, newspapers, serial publications (e.g. annual directories)
- Microfilm, microfiche, CD-ROMS
- Legal material held by the Advocates Library.
- Manuscript collections (Obtain details of these items using Library Search or our other manuscript catalogues and guides and request them by entering the details into the online manuscript order form.
Requests go automatically to our Bookfetching Units.
- To access the request system: Use Library Search to find the record of the item you want. Once you have found the record, choose 'Request this item' and follow the online instructions to place your order.
For manuscript material, use Library Search or our other manuscript catalogues and guides to obtain the item details and then order items by entering these details into the online manuscript order form.
There is more information in the online request system guide.
How to order other types of material
Some items are not available to preorder online:
- Moving image collections
- Material on the open shelves in the General Reading Room
- Material in the process of being catalogued
- Material which is not in Library Search.
You must preorder these by contacting us through Ask a Question.
Preordering without a library card
If you have not yet registered as a reader, or do not have a valid library card, you may request up to six books by post or email, or two books by telephone. See enquiries page for contact details.
To consult the material in the reading rooms, you must have a library card. You can start the registration process online.
How much advance notice to give us
If you do not have a valid library card you must submit your preorders at least two days before your planned visit.
You can collect the items from the Issue Desk when you arrive. This service is particularly useful if the books you wish to consult are stored offsite.
Reserving items at the end of your visit
If you have not completed your research by the end of your visit, you may normally reserve up to 12 items for later use.
We will keep them on reserve for six working days, and return them to the shelves if they are not consulted during that period.
To reserve items, you must fill in a reservation slip when returning material to the Issue Desk.