The collections of the National Library of Scotland preserve the memory of the nation.
A still from a black and white film showing children and a projector

Kelvin Hall visitors can access items from Scotland's history which can only be seen when visiting us in person.

Visit us to exploring the huge range of the National Library of Scotland's collections and our extensive digital resources.

Books and manuscripts

At Kelvin Hall, visitors can browse our vast digital book and manuscript collections, including items on public display in exhibitions. Staff are on hand to share their knowledge, answer questions or have a chat.

You have access to the digital collections through on-site computers, including:

  • Hundreds of full-text reference works
  • Thousands of full-text newspapers, journals and reports
  • Hundreds of thousands of digitised books, periodicals and manuscripts spanning over five centuries
  • Millions of records and abstracts via online services and databases.


Some of these are only available at Kelvin Hall.

Learn more about our digital collections on the Library's website.


You can examine digitised maps from one of the world's largest map collections at Kelvin Hall. The Library has over 140,000 high-resolution online maps available to view, covering four centuries of mapping.

Viewable maps range in scale from detailed street views of Glasgow, through to Scotland, the United Kingdom, Europe, the world and even the universe.

Learn more about the National Library of Scotland's map collections

Moving Image and Sound Archive

The Moving Image Archive is Scotland's national collection of moving images. At Kelvin Hall, you can view archive films and videos from over 100 years of Scottish history.

Our archive showcases the country's rich and varied history captured on film. Access the archive's film collections, through:

  • On-site catalogue of the film and video collections
  • Curated content of themed footage, giving a taster of the film collections
  • Viewing booths for videotape and DVD content
  • Television collections which cannot be viewed online
  • Public film screenings
  • Events and talks

You can also consult the archive's paper collections, which hold items from the history of film-making and cinema in Scotland since 1896. These collections include posters, cinema programmes, scripts, photographs, and ephemera.

Browse the Moving Image Archive catalogue.