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.

No access to the Main Library and the Law Library for Reference users during exam period 


From Monday 8th April - Thursday 16th May 2024 inclusive, access to the Main Library and the Law Library will be suspended for Reference users. This also includes those with SCONUL Reference Only cards. This is due to the revision and exam period at University of Edinburgh and consequent high demand on study spaces. 

Heritage Collections users are not affected by this.   

Normal access arrangements will resume on Friday 17th May 2024. 

If you feel an exception should be made in your case, please email stating the reasons for an exception to be made. We apologise for any inconvenience. 

Library Membership

University of Edinburgh Libraries are fully open to all categories of external membership.

If you wish to join or renew your existing membership, please  e-mail us at (Please state you wish to join/renew and include in your email your name,  category of visitor and existing card reference number starting ‘200..’ if applicable). 

We will reply to you with important information for access within a maximum of 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. PLEASE NOTE THIS SCHEME IS CURRENTLY CLOSED TO NEW APPLICATIONS.  Existing valid passports will be accepted.

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 with an online payment of £10. 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. 

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