National Library of Scotland
The National Library of Scotland (NLS) is one of the UK's five copyright libraries: a copy of evey text published in the country must be lodged with NLS. This has lead to a Library with a wonderful treasure trove of papers, pamphlets, maps and artefacts documenting Scotland's rich history and culture.
The NLS recently underwent a major renovation project. A new visitor centre allows members of the public to browse the catalogue and see key items of NLS collections on display. A new cafe and shop accompany the renovations. The redevelopment also provided extra space to show off the collections of the recently-acquired John Murray Archive, one of the most important and extensive cultural archives of the last 250 years.
NLS has begun an ongoing programme of digitising its collection, so that some of the rare and exciting manuscripts and maps it houses will be readily available. The NLS digital collections resource will continue to grow over the coming years, but material that currently exists includes maps of Scotland for the period 1560-1928; nine of the earliest books printed in Scotland, circa 1508; the last letter written by Mary, Queen of Scots, before her execution; and much, much more.
The Library hosts a rolling programme of events, most of which are free to attend. Speakers in the past have ranged from bestselling authors to reknowned academics, and special events include opportunities to inspect original manuscripts up close. You can search for NLS events in our What's On section, or you can visit the NLS website directly.
National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge
National Library of Scotland, Causewayside Building, 33 Salisbury Place