About this Resource
The National Library of Scotland’s Maps Reading Room was founded in 1958. It is housed in the Library’s Causewayside building in Edinburgh. Visits are by appointment, and during coronavirus restrictions it is currently only open from 10-1 and 2-4.
With over 1.5 million map items it is the largest map library in Scotland, and one of the largest in the UK. It houses a wide array of material covering every continent:
• Maps dating from the 15th century to the present
• Ordnance Survey maps covering a range of years and scales
• Manuscript maps
• Town plans
• Military maps
• Geology maps
• Land utilisation maps
• Aerial photographs
• and many, many more ...
There has always been a focus on making the Library’s maps publicly accessible, and in the 21st century the Library has scanned swathes of its Scottish, English and Welsh collections and added these to the maps website. The number of maps currently digitised, as at April 2020, is around 230,000 (around 15% of the collection). There are plans to increase this offering to around 500,000 by 2025, including maps from every continent.
Maps staff are exceedingly knowledgeable and will attempt to answer all enquiries as fully as possible.
Please note that links to websites and catalogues are provided by the Organisations listed and not maintained by Scottish Local History Forum.