Windows and doorway of National Library of Scotland
Credit: National Library of Scotland

National Library of Scotland

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National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW

The National Library of Scotland’s main building is located on George IV Bridge in the Old Town of Edinburgh. Its holds over 15 million books and printed items.  And in addition, many manuscripts, maps, films, newspapers and magazines. As a legal deposit library, it is one of only a handful of libraries with the right to claim a copy of every book published in the UK and Ireland. So, the library adds thousands of books to its collection every week.

The Largest Library in Scotland

In the main building you will find Reading Rooms, the Visitor Centre, exhibition and events areas and also Readers’ Registration.

The main public area contains an information desk, cafe and shop and computers with access to online reference material and digitised collections. The discovery area gives a glimpse of the library’s full collection through a rolling programme of exhibits on particular themes. There is also a permanent archive exhibition.

As it is not a lending library, you must use the reading rooms to look at the collections. There is a General Reading Room (journals, newspapers and post-1850 printed books), a Special Collections Reading Room (manuscripts, music and rare books), and a Multimedia Room (microforms and multimedia). Furthermore, for new readers they offer a basic induction session and hold regular workshops. But visitors must register for access to the reading rooms and the licensed digital collections in the Readers’ Registration area.

Visit the National Library of Scotland

See the National Library of Scotland website for more information.