National Library of Scotland

Address George IV Bridge
Telephone 0131 623 3700
Fax +44 (0)131 623 3701
Email Ask a Librarian
Official Publications website (if available)
Contact/Subject Specialist Sarah Thomson
Government and Civil Literacy Curator

Collection Description With around 2 million items, the National Library of Scotland holds one of the largest collections of official publications in the United Kingdom and
the largest collection of official publications in Scotland. The legal deposit privilege ensures comprehensive coverage of publications from the UK and Scottish Parliaments, together with the publications of their respective
government departments and agencies. The extension of the Legal Deposit Regulations in April 2013 allows us to collect non print material such as electronic publications and websites. In addition the Library has extensive collections of overseas publications, including material from the United States and Commonwealth countries. The Library acts as a depository library for the
United Nations and for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Collection strengths

Our main strength is the comprehensiveness of our official publications collection however we also have a large collection of South Asian material
The India Papers collection”; this is unique in Scotland, with only one other similar to it in the UK (in the British Library). This collection includes publications of the central (Imperial) government and of many Indian states,
most but not all of which came under British rule. (Items published by the India Office can be found among the British official publications.) The great majority of the collection dates from between the post-Mutiny re-organisation
of the Indian government and Indian independence in 1947. Some of the collection on medical history has been digitised and is freely available.

Other digitised resources include ‘Scottish School Exam papers 1888-1963  and ‘British Military lists – Army, Navy and Airforce Military lists recording details of officers who served in the three main branches of Britain’s armed services during the First and Second World Wars. Official lists for the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force have been published since the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries respectively. Also includes unofficial ‘Hart’s Army Lists’ of British Army and, from 1862, Indian Army Officers published between 1839 and 1915. Britain: an official handbook 1979-1990.  These resources are freely available for consultation.

Access to Official Publications Access is available to:

  • University member
  • Organisations staff
  • General public
  • Other

Information on reader’s tickets:

Services (related to Official Publications)
Subscription Databases
  • ProQuest UK Parliamentary Papers
  • State Papers Online 1509-1714
  • OECD iLibrary
  • Official Publications Online (OPO)
Entry updated July 2022

  © Scottish Working Forum on Official Publications