National Library of Scotland

National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge



General Enquiries



Rare and Specialist Collections

Public Programme


General Enquiries

+44 (0)131-226 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
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Wha’s like us? A nation of dreams and ideas

  • Until 18 May 2014 *on now
  • From 13 December 2013

For centuries, Scots have made a significant impact on the world outside Scotland. From Adam Smith to Dolly the Sheep, Scotland has been – and continues to be – a hotbed of ideas, innovation, creativity, and dreams. To celebrate Homecoming Scotland 2014, curators at NLS have created an alphabet of achievement which presents a small selection of the many ways in which Scottish influence has extended around the globe. Some stories are ‘well-kent’, others barely known at all, but together they contribute to Scotland’s reputation for creativity and pioneering innovation, at home and abroad.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free - no need to book