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Parliament House

The Advocates Library

Welcome to the Advocates Library

The Advocates Library is widely regarded as the finest working law library in the British Isles. A comprehensive range of materials built up over the last three hundred years, and a modern library management system utilising the latest technology, ensure that the Advocates Library is able to meet the increasingly complex needs of members of the Faculty of Advocates. In addition, the library's stock is made available to others via the National Library of Scotland - see Using the Library for details.

The Library was formally inaugurated in 1689. From the start the collection was a general one. In 1709 the status of the collection was confirmed when Queen Anne's Copyright Act gave the Keeper of the Library the right to claim a copy of every book published in the British Isles. The collection was enhanced by purchase and donation, particularly of continental imprints and of manuscripts. The Advocates Library came to be recognised as the natural depository for literary materials of national importance. By the 1850s the Library had become in effect Scotland's national library. In 1925 the National Library of Scotland was established when the Faculty gifted to the nation its whole non-law collections comprising 750,000 books, pamphlets, manuscripts, maps and sheet music. The Advocates Library has retained the copyright privilege for law publications.

In recent years the Advocates Library has expanded to take account of the increase in membership of the Bar. Advances in technology have been embraced with the installation of a new library management system, incorporating an on-line catalogue, which further enhances the services the library is able to offer.

 
The Faculty of Advocates
Parliament House
EDINBURGH
EH1 1RF

Telephone: 0131 226 5071