Information Services


Edinburgh University Library is a member of the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Access scheme. Once registered with the scheme, staff and students from any other SCONUL Access institution can have free membership of the Library. As mentioned below, we ask that you email us at before visiting and after you have received your approval email issued by your home institution.

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.*




The SCONUL Access website provides more details of the scheme and how to join. Please apply through the SCONUL website to receive your approval from your home institution before emailing us to receive information on how to receive your University of Edinburgh library card.



There are two categories of membership depending on whether your SCONUL Access card/e-mail is band A, B, C or Reference.

Membership Notes
Reference (consultation only) Free for all SCONUL Access approval e-mail holders. Membership lasts for 1 year. 
External borrower Free. Only for band A,B or C SCONUL Access approval e-mail holders. Membership lasts maximum of 3 years or expiry date on SCONUL approval e-mail if sooner.

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) Student or staff ID card AND SCONUL Access card/e-mail 
External borrower Student or staff ID card AND SCONUL Access card/e-mail (only band A, B or C)*

* You must apply for your SCONUL Access approval through the SCONUL website. Approval is organised by your home institution. Both your student/staff ID card and SCONUL Access approval e-mail must be current and valid. If your student/staff ID card does not have your photo on it then photographic ID must also be provided. Please note that Open University (OU) students should also have an OU library card, or alternatively, OU issued documentation.

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.

Further information

We currently require all external users wishing to join the library  to email :

Please provide information of your SCONUL Access status.

Please do not visit our libraries before receiving further information from library staff.

Please note that registration ceases 20 minutes prior to the Helpdesk closing.


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

Library opening hours

Library locations

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. 

All users requiring a new or replacement card should email, to receive further information before visiting.


WiFi access

The University of Edinburgh is a member of the JANET Roaming Service, normally known as eduroam. Eduroam allows university staff and students of participating institutions to login at other eduroam participating institutions.

You must speak to your home institution's IT support before visiting University of Edinburgh, as you may have to register or set up the service at your home institution before being able to use it elsewhere.

Visitors to University of Edinburgh who are experiencing technical problems with eduroam should consult their home institution's IT support.


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