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Library services

Our library services support the research and learning needs of Museum staff, visitors, and the wider external research community.

National Museums Scotland has the largest museum library collection in Scotland. Our library services support the research and learning needs of Museum staff, visitors and the wider external research community.  There are two libraries which have public access - the Research Library in the National Museum of Scotland (our main reading room) and the National War Museum Library.

The founding library collection dates back 235 years with its roots in the collections of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. It is now a modern research library with collections and services reflecting the strength and variety of the Museum’s collections and research directions.

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Library collection

The library has a unique collection which is particularly strong in archaeology and decorative arts, including 300,000 monographs, 450 periodicals, access to 4,300 e-journals, and over 2000 rare and antiquarian books.

Explore the collection
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Research Library

The Research Library is our main reading room on Level 3 of the National Museum of Scotland, adjacent to the Technology by Design gallery.

Find out more
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National War Museum Library

The National War Museum Library in Edinburgh Castle is open by appointment only on Tuesday mornings.

Find out more

Browse our library catalogue

Find out more about individual books and journals we hold.

Browse the catalogue
National Museums Scotland Library Services

A: Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
E: library@nms.ac.uk T: 0131 247 4137

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