Information Services

Members of the public

University of Edinburgh Library is open to all members of the public on production of appropriate proof of identity.

Library Membership

From Monday 7th February 2022 University of Edinburgh Libraries are fully open to all categories of external membership.

Please apply to access the library by e-mailing: (Please include in your email your existing card reference number starting ‘200..’ if applicable).

We will reply to you with important information for access within 7 days. Please wait for our reply before visiting our libraries.*

*We may not be able to process your membership if you do not follow these steps.*





Any member of the public can join University of Edinburgh Library. You can join on either a Reference only basis, or as an External Borrower for which there is a fee. Please note that you must be 16 or over to join as a member of the public.

Membership Notes
Reference (consultation only) Free. Membership lasts for 1 year.
External borrower A fee applies. Membership lasts for 3,6 or 12 months.

What do I need to bring?

Please bring the appropriate ID as outlined below. You will be unable to register unless you have all the requested documentation.

Membership Documentation
Reference (consultation only) Photographic ID plus proof of address*
External borrower Photographic ID plus proof of address*

*Proof of address must be dated within the last 3 months.

Accepted proof of identity

Edinburgh Libraries Passport (ELP) holders do not need to bring proof of address in order to register with the Library.

Edinburgh Libraries Passport

What does my card entitle me to?

Details of what your card entitles you to at the University Library can be found on the following page.


Your library card can be used in the Main Library and all site libraries. Access to departmental or class libraries is not available.

Library opening hours

Replacement cards (lost, stolen or expired)

If your reference card or external borrower's card is lost, stolen or damaged you can get it replaced free of charge currently until online payment of replacement fee becomes available. Please email for more details.

If your card expires you must apply for a new one. Please email and we will send you all the relevant information for a replacement. All required documentation must be provided. 

Replacement cards

Further information about renewing your external borrower's card

Privacy Notice for Library Self-Registration

This privacy notice explains what personal information the University holds about those joining as library members. It explains why we hold this information, what we do with it, how long we keep it for and if we share it with third parties.

Privacy Notice for Library Self-Registration