Information Services

Virtual / Remote Access

How to view collections when unable to visit in person.

Woman sits with large book open on a cushion. A screen on the wall shows a detail of the book from an overhead camera
Virtual Reading Room Service

For those who are unable to visit in person, we provide the following online services:

  • Virtual Reading Room: a 1 hour appointment during which a member of staff will use a high quality visualiser to show you collection items. You may not record the appointment.
  • Online Streamer for Sound Archives: 1 day access to an online streaming platform for sound archives.
  • MediaHopper for Moving Image Works: limited access to view selected moving image works online.

Making an Appointment

  • Appointments should be made by emailing
  • Appointments to access Lothian Health Services Archive should be made by emailing
  • Appointments should be made as far in advance as possible. We require at least 1 weeks' notice, however in some circumstances we may need more, for example:
    • If archival documents require checking for personal data under the Data Protection Act 2018
    • If your visit requires access to museum collections stored off site or those in situ on campus
    • If an item requires conservation assessment before it can be accessed
    • Further information can be found on our Protected Access webpage.
  • Please let us know if you have any additional access requirements.


  1. All users must complete the Heritage Collections Registration Form in advance of any appointment.

Click Here for Heritage Collections Registration Form

What equipment you need

You will need a PC or large tablet for the appointment, and a stable internet connection from the location at which you are attending (i.e. at home, in an office).

After your appointment

During a Virtual Reading Room appointment, you may request up to 20 'quick snaps' to be emailed to you afterwards - these are low resolution images taken by staff for reference purposes.

If you require copies of any items for publication, broadcast or sharing purposes, please let us know and we will advise on the process and any costs involved. You can find out more on our Digitisation & Licensing webpages.