University of Edinburgh

Contact details

Website: Email: Telephone: +44 (0)131 650 3409

University of Edinburgh

About the library

Edinburgh University Library was established in 1580 when Clement Litill, an Edinburgh Advocate, died, bequeathing his collection of 276 volumes to the Toun and Kirk of Edinburgh. A year after the founding of the Tounis College, now the University of Edinburgh, in 1583, these books were handed over to the College as a library for the College and for the public.

The library now operates across a number of sites, the main sites are:

  • Main Library - the largest site, holding primary collections for the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Medicine and Informatics. It also contains general collections, older books and periodicals for all subjects and the majority of the Special Collections and Archives.
  • The Lady Smith of Kelvin Veterinary Library - holds the university's veterinary medicine collections. This includes material covering pre-clinical veterinary medicine, biology and allied sciences, animal production and health, animal welfare, parasitology, small and large animal medicine, exotic animal medicine and equine medicine.
  • Noreen and Kenneth Murray Library - holds the university's principal printed book collections in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics as well as the Edinburgh Mathematical Society's book collection.
  • Law and Europa Library - the Europa Library is a designated European Documentation Centre.
  • Moray House Library - contains materials relating to Education, Psychology, English Language Teaching, Physical Education, Sports Sciences, Leisure Studies and Recreational Studies.
  • New College Library - serves the School of Divinity and is one of the largest theology libraries in the UK.
  • Roslin Institute Library - holds material on animal biology.
  • Royal Infirmary Library
  • Scottish Studies Library - contains collections in support of teaching and research in Scottish Ethnography.
  • Western General Hospital Library

Links to all the libraries can be found on the website.

The local library catalogue is available online.

The University of Edinburgh also contributes to the Archives Hub. To browse descriptions of their archive materials, visit their Archives Hub information page.

British Library inter-library loan codes

Main Library: library code ED/U-1; policy code - G2

Noreen and Kenneth Murray Library: library code ED/U-7; policy code - G2

Lady Smith of Kelvin Veterinary Library: library code ED/U22; policy code - G2

Law and Europa Library: policy code - G2

Library Annexe: policy code - G2

Moray House Library: policy code - G2

New College Library: policy code - G2

Roslin Institute Library: policy code - J2

Royal Infirmary Library: library code ED/M-4; policy code - F2

Scottish Studies Library: policy code - G2

Western General Hospital Library: library code ED/M-5; policy code - G2

For an explanation of these codes, and for more information on arranging inter-library loans, see the inter-library loans page on the British Library website.

Accessing materials

Can I see live document availability on Library Hub Discover? Yes.

Can I obtain items via inter-library loan? Yes - subject to the library's local lending policy. You must request an inter-library loan via a library of which you are a member. Talk to your own library staff for advice on ordering an item.

Can I visit the library to view materials? Yes - see the library's website for access details. If you wish to visit it is advisable to contact the library in advance, to ensure that they can accommodate you and that the material you need will be available.


Browse all of the University of Edinburgh's records in Library Hub Discover here.