National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland is the country's largest library, with over 34 million items in its collections.

A real treasure trove of knowledge and creativity

The National Library of Scotladn's vast collections grow every day from manuscripts, printed books, newspapers, magazines, sound and film collections, maps and more.

It holds many unique and treasured items, including the last letter of Mary, Queen of Scots, the Gutenberg Bible, and letters written by Robert Burns and Charles Darwin, to name a few.

The building at George IV Bridge was purpose-built and has 10 storeys of shelving.

As well as welcoming readers and researchers to use these collections, it is a cultural centre: hosting events and exhibitions throughout the year on a wide variety of topics that seek to inform, as well as spark inspiration and imagination.

Over the Doors Open Day weekend, its friendly and knowledgeable staff will take you on a behind-the-scenes tour to experience the Library and its rich history in a way not usually available to the public. 

On Saturday’s tours, tours will visit our exhibition spaces, the General Reading Room and the ‘stacks’ (where the collection items are stored). 

On Sunday, tours will visit the Main Hall, General and Special Collections Reading Rooms and the ‘stacks’, where visitors will experience this fascinating building on a day usually completely closed to the public. Take this rare opportunity to explore a national treasure on Doors Open Day weekend. 

Booking details:

Tour information:  This event has SOLD OUT!

Tours - meeting at front hall, main library building, George IV Bridge


Saturday 24 September and Sunday 25 September

Opening times: 

Saturday September 24th: 09:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm

Sunday September 25th: 12:30pm, 2pm, 3:30pm


George IV Bridge




  • Lift access
  • Accessible bathroom
  • Gender neutral toilets
  • Seating
  • Baby feeding and changing area