National Library of Scotland

National Library of Scotland

Membership of the National Library of Scotland

Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh were at one time, issued with a lifetime membership card for accessing the collections of the National Library.

In recent years this card has become obsolete as the National Library has introduced technological improvements to the book order and stock control system.

The cards now issued to all members of the Library include a unique encoded number enabling readers to request items from the collections online. This is a major benefit to members because the catalogue and book request system can be accessed over the internet from any computer. Therefore card holders can order most items in advance of their visit and eliminate waiting times within the reading rooms.

Planned future developments at the Library will allow the card to be used for a variety of purposes, including photocopying and retail and refreshment purchases in our new Visitor Centre on George IV Bridge.

Many of the Royal Society’s papers and publications have been deposited with the National Library of Scotland, and the Library values the relationship it holds with RSE fellows. The Library would therefore like to invite all fellows who do not yet have the new style of card to renew their membership at their convenience.

Registration is straightforward and can be done in conjunction with a visit to the Library. Fellows should bring personal identification and proof of address, fill out a short form and get their photo taken in the Registration Office. A lifetime card will then be issued, although the Library will ask for address details to be updated every 3 years. The Registration Office is open 09:30 – 20:20 Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri, 10:00 – 20:20 Wed and 09:30 – 13:00 Sat.

Forms of identification should contain a signature and printed name. Examples include a current full driving licence, bank card, bus pass and current passport. Proof of address must be from an official source and includes a current full driving licence, utility bills and bank statements issued within the last 3 months.

Further information concerning the registration process can be found on the NLS website: or by contacting Helen Abel, Front of House Manager: tel: 0131 623 3887.

Enquiries regarding the collections, book ordering and catalogue training sessions should be sent to, tel: 0131 623 3820.

Click here to read list of RSE papers held at the NLS


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