The National Library of Scotland (NLS) will carry out a £10,000 upgrade of its maps reading room this weekend, making the fantastic resource even more accessible to the public.

The modernisation programme will include moving the reading room from its current first-floor home in Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, to new street-level quarters at 159 Causewayside.

NLS hope that as well as providing a brighter, more welcoming environment for visitors, the new facility will make it quicker and easier for members of the public to browse, consult or collect copies and images from the extensive collection.

What’s more, the new reading room allows the introduction of some additional features – an informal foyer for relaxing; a selection of merchandise will shortly be available to buy; as well as a regular, rotating display of material for the public to enjoy.

To celebrate the new location, NLS has aptly chosen to open the exhibition space with a display entitled ‘Around Causewayside in old maps and photographs’.

Martyn Wade, National Librarian and CEO of the National Library of Scotland, said: “The new reading room will be a fantastic facility, providing unrivalled access to our exemplary collection of around two million cartographic items. It has been designed to meet modern requirements, with an improved layout, more desks for computer users and a more streamlined browsable collection on open access.”

The National Library of Scotland’s maps collection is the largest in Scotland and is one of the biggest in the world. Its holdings cover all parts of the globe, through 700 years, from medieval manuscript maps to current digital mapping.

You can also access over 20,000 high resolution images of early maps of Scotland, and related texts, at the click of a button by visiting

The maps reading room will be closed this weekend (Sep18-20) while relocation / modernisation works are underway – it will reopen on Tuesday, September 21.