National Library of Scotland (NLS)

National Library of Scotland (NLS)

The National Library of Scotland is a reference library with world-class collections. It is also Scotland’s largest library and one of the major research libraries in Europe, making it the leading centre for the study of Scotland and the Scots. As well as over 15 million printed items, the library holds seven million manuscripts, two million maps, over 32,000 films, and 25,000 newspaper and magazine titles. It collects around 5,000 items each week, and has material in 490 languages. It is one of five Legal Deposit Libraries in the UK.

The National Library of Scotland holds many collections including the Scottish Screen Archive, which preserves over 100 years of Scottish history on film and video, and the John Murray Archive, which charts 200 years of the publishing house behind Jane Austen and Lord Byron.

The National Library was formally constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1925 and the main George IV building was completed in 1956. In 2009, a refurbishment created a ground floor cafe, exhibition space and bookshop open to the general public. The Library hosts a busy events programme throughout the year, covering talks and workshops as well as exhibitions.