National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland (NLS) is the legal deposit library of Scotland and successor to the historic Library of the Faculty of Advocates which was founded in the late 17th century. In 1710, under the Copyright Act, the Advocates Library was granted the legal right to claim copies of all published work in the United Kingdom and Ireland (a legal right the NLS still has today). The National Library of Scotland houses over 14 million printed items and is one of Europe’s foremost research libraries. As well as printed items, the Library holds over 100,000 manuscripts, roughly two million maps and 25,000 newspaper and magazine titles (making it Scotland’s largest library). The Library’s collections are particularly strong for all aspects of Scotland’s history, culture and heritage. Among the Library’s holdings are a great number of treasures including a copy of the Guttenberg Bible, the first folio of Shakespeare and some of the first printed works in Scotland including ‘The Chepman & Myllar Prints’.

The Library’s manuscript collection is incredibly varied and contains material dating from the 17th century through to the 20th century. Among its collections are papers of leading politicians and military commanders, writers, historians, theorists, scientists, engineers, missionaries and explorers. The Library also holds the Faculty of Advocates’ manuscript series containing documents of historical importance. The Library has particularly strong holdings relating to the history of India.