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National Library of Scotland

National Library of Scotland Art Collections

Open to the public

Library or archive in Edinburgh

41 artworks

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The National Library of Scotland was established in 1925 when books and manuscripts belonging to the Faculty of Advocates were transferred – with the exception of law material – to the new library. Sir George Mackenzie (there is a portrait of him in this collection), the Dean of Faculty at the time, is regarded as the founder of the Advocates Library whose first acquisitions were made in 1682. From 1710, under the terms of the Copyright Act, the Library was entitled to claim copies of all books published in Britain, while continuing to acquire, by purchase and donation, other books and manuscripts relating to Scotland. By the time that Thomas Ruddiman (there is a portrait of him in this collection) retired from the Keepership of the library in 1752, after almost 50 years of service, the Library was Scotland’s national library in all but name. Today the National Library of Scotland, which – together with the Advocates Library to which law books received through legal deposit are transmitted – is Scotland’s only legal deposit library, acquires material in all formats from around the world for the purpose of advancing universal access to knowledge about Scotland and in Scotland.

George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH1 1EW Scotland

0131 623 3700

Before making a visit, check opening hours with the venue