National Library of Scotland

National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge



General Enquiries



Rare and Specialist Collections

Public Programme


0131 226 4531


General Enquiries

+44 (0)131-622 4803

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
National Library of Scotland
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Scotland's largest library and the world centre for the study of Scotland and the Scots. Thanks to our UK legal deposit status, we are also a vast reference library.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive

Opening hours

General Reading Room:

Monday - 09.30-20.30
Tuesday - 09.30-20.30
Wednesday - 10.00-20.30
Thursday - 09.30-20.30
Friday - 09.30-20.30
Saturday - 09.30-13.00

Closed: Sunday

Admission charges

Free admission to Reading Rooms, exhibitions and workshops. Some events are chargeable.

7 million printed books, 120,000 volumes of manuscripts, 1.6 million maps, and over 20,000 newspaper and magazine titles.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Industry, Law and Order, Literature, Maritime, Medicine, Music, Natural Sciences, Religion, Science and Technology, Social History, World Cultures

Key artists and exhibits

  • Robert Burns
  • Mary Queen of Scots
  • Edinburgh Calotype Club
  • Douglas Haig
  • Winston Churchill
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Murthly Hours
  • The Auchinleck Manuscript
  • Modern Scottish Writers
  • Edinburgh’s Theatre Royal
  • Map Library - military and civilian
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.


  • 1 December 2014 6:30-7:30pm

The spoken word and performance poetry scene is thriving in Scotland. Tricolour is a monthly event showcasing three different poetry and spoken word talents. Three different voices, three different styles, three different takes on life. Features Harry Giles, Jo Clifford, T S Rosenberg

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


Admission free
Booking essential

Christmas Fair

  • 11 December 2014 6-8pm

No need to book, just come along on the night join us for our annual Christmas Fair, with yuletide bargains and festive treats galore; we’re sure we’ll have something for everyone. Enjoy a 20% discount on everything in our shop, from exhibition prints, mugs and candles to those hard to find books and children’s favourites. Once you’ve shopped, relax with our tasty refreshments and festive entertainment. A delightful way to see in the Christmas season!

Suitable for

  • Any age