Information Services

Library services

New College Library offers a range of services for Special Collections users, working with the Centre for Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh. Find out how to request materials for consultation and order digital images.

Opening times

New College Library is open for Special Collections services 9.00am to 5.00pm Mondays to Fridays all year round, except for University closed days at Christmas.

New College Library opening hours

Requesting collections material

Items are requested in the Library by completing printed slips which are available in the catalogue area. They can also be requested in advance by telephone, e-mail or letter. Special collections items are collected for users once each day. Requests received before 11am, Monday-Friday will be fetched the same day and those received after 11am will be available the following weekday. We are able to collect a maximum of 5 items per day per reader.

Users from outside the University are strongly advised to contact New College Library in advance of their visit to discuss their needs, and to ensure that the relevant material can be made available. You must also bring documents to register with the library before accessing material.

Please note that we do not have microfilm and microfiche readers available at New College Library. If you wish to use this equipment, we will make arrangements for you to use the equipment at the Centre for Research Collections.

What documents do I need?

Contact New College Library Helpdesk

Handling collections material

Special Collections items must be read in the Funk Reading Room. Readers must follow the University of Edinburgh Centre for Research Collections (CRC) guidelines to handling materials.


We aim to provide a full response to enquiries within 20 working days, depending on the nature of the request.

New College Library Helpdesk staff can help with most routine enquiries and advice.  For more detailed advice, an appointment can be made with the Academic Support Librarian or the New College Collections Curator.  While Library staff aim to respond to all enquiries, we cannot carry out detailed research on behalf of library users.

Digital Image and Scanning Services

How to Search for Existing Digital Photographs

A selection of existing digital images from the New College Library Collections can be browsed online.

University of Edinburgh Image Collections

Self-service photography

User photography of up to 100 images a day is allowed in the Funk Reading Room, after an appropriate declaration form is signed. Images should be for research and study purposes only. No user scanning or photocopying of Special Collections is permitted.

On site scanning services

Scans of Special Collections items can be ordered via the New College Library Helpdesk for private study or non-commercial research. A declaration form must be completed before copying is undertaken. We reserve the right to refuse copying due to any of the following:

  • the fragile condition of the item
  • content is restricted by the Data Protection Act
  • content is restricted by copyright law.

A flat rate of 60p per scan is charged, for a colour PDF file of research quality. This will be for a double page spread unless otherwise specified. The minimum order is £6. VAT at 20% is charged – exemptions are (1) UoE staff or student with valid ID number (2) EU customers with a valid VAT registration number (3) Customers outside the UK or EU. Scans will be delivered via an online file transfer service within 20 working days.

Payment must be received in advance and can be made in cash at the Helpdesk or online through our electronic payment system. Please contact the Helpdesk first for an accurate page count and costing.Please note that material may be uploaded to the University of Edinburgh website for open access use after scanning.

Order copies for private study and research

Contact New College Library Helpdesk

Images for publication

Orders for images for publication will be processed by the Digital Imaging Unit (DIU). Please allow extra time for your request to enable your item to be transported from New College Library to the DIU for photography. The DIU offers a range of available formats and a separate pricing structure.Please note that material may be uploaded to the University of Edinburgh website for open access use after photography.

DIU Copying Services and Prices

Image Licensing and Credit

New College Library is moving towards an 'Open by Default' policy for digital images of collection items. We are adopting a CC-BY licence for New College Library images used for private research and study purposes.

Please credit all New College Library material used to : New College Library, University of Edinburgh.

If images are required for any purpose other than private study or non-commercial research a licensing form must be completed - see link below.

Image Licensing for University of Edinburgh Collections.