National Library of Scotland Draft 2020–2025 Strategy

Closed 27 Jan 2020

Opened 2 Dec 2019


The National Library of Scotland is the largest library in the country, with more than 31 million items held in trust for the Scottish people. We preserve the memory of the nation with collections that span the centuries, from earliest times to the digital age. 

The Library is the successor to the historic Library of the Faculty of Advocates, founded in Edinburgh in the late 17th century. Since 1710 the Library has had the right, under successive Copyright Acts, to acquire a copy of all books published in the United Kingdom. As a result, we hold extensive and varied collections of printed material, including maps, music, newspapers and magazines as well as books.

We also have large manuscript and archive collections documenting the lives of Scots at home and abroad. Our digital content is growing every year, particularly through electronic legal deposit and our curation of the national moving image and sound collections.

Our role is to both safeguard and to share the knowledge held in our collections for current and future generations. We are committed to providing easy access to our physical and digital content, and to delivering services that are open and available to all. We support learning and research, and promote understanding and enjoyment of our collections through a rich programme of exhibitions, events, and outreach activities.

Read the consultation paper


  • Arts, Culture and Sport