Regulations - Library and Archives
The Library and Archives of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) are national reference collections and, as such, are open to all.
In registering to use the collections, you agree to abide by our regulations which are essential to ensure the health and safety of staff and users and to preserve this national resource for future generations. Any breaches of these terms and conditions may result in the loss of access to the collections.
We cannot guarantee that all items in the collections will be available for immediate consultation. Users wishing to consult specific items are therefore advised to contact the Library with the details of those items at least 5 working days in advance.
- To provide the Library with the information needed to create and maintain your registration (name, address, email address) and to comply with health and safety requirements including contact tracing protocols.
- To tell us of any changes to the information provided.
Proof of identity, e.g. driving licence, passport, university matriculation card, may be requested.
Health & Safety
- All users are expected to abide by the RBGE’s health and safety procedures. These include following instructions from staff and informational signage relating to social distancing, the quarantine of consulted items, queuing and hand-washing.
- In line with Scottish Government requirements, it is mandatory to wear a face covering in the Library unless you are exempt under the Government Guidance.
- Any user who intentionally disregards these instructions will have their visit suspended and will be asked to leave.
- In the event of an emergency evacuation please follow the directions of Library staff.
Using the Reading Room
The following conditions do not cover every eventuality. Please follow any instructions you receive from Library staff.
- Please wash your hands thoroughly before entering the Reading Room.
- Please do not apply hand sanitiser in the Reading Room as it may include ingredients that will damage the collection. Gloves are available in the Library if required.
- You are not allowed to bring the following items into the Reading Room:
- Bags, coats, umbrellas, pens, food, drink, scissors, correction fluid, post-it notes, sellotape, knives, lighters or matches.
- You should place any personal items in the lockers provided. These are used by one person per day and are cleaned at the end of each day.
- You are allowed to use the following items in the Reading Room:
- Laptop computers, mobile phones (on silent mode), pencils, notebooks.
- If you bring personal property into the Library you do so at your own risk.
- The Reading Room is intended to be an area for quiet study and conversation should be kept to a minimum.
- Please inform a member of staff when you are leaving the Reading Room and notify them if you would like any items retained for further consultation.
The following guidelines should be followed in order to prevent handling-related damage to the collections. Please ask a member of staff if you require any assistance handling material.
- Do not fold, lean on, mark, disassemble or damage any items in the collections.
- Please use the book supports / cushions provided when reading bound volumes.
- When removing items from the shelves you should reach over and push the required item out from behind. Do not use the top of the spine to pull the book out as this will damage the item.
- Please use the gloves provided in the Reading Room when consulting original photographs.
- Please keep items in order and help us by informing a member of staff if anything appears to be damaged, missing or out of place.
Many of the items in our collections can be photographed or scanned for personal research purposes only. Please ask a member of staff for further information.
RBGE staff, research associates and students are permitted to borrow items from the Library collection.
- Loans are issued to registered borrowers for their own use.
- You are responsible for all items issued to you until you return them to the Library Service Desk. Items issued to you must not be passed on to anyone else.
- If you are likely to be away from the RBGE for any length of time, e.g. during holidays or field trips, you should return items to the Library before your departure.
- You must return items borrowed from the Library within 1 working day if they are requested by Library staff.
- If you do not return a borrowed item when requested the Head of Library Services reserves the right to invoice you for the costs of purchasing a replacement copy.
- A fine of £0.20 per day may be applied in the event that:
- A user fails to return an item by the stated due date;
- A user fails to return an item that is requested by Library Staff;
- A user fails to return their loans for checking during the annual Book-Check.
At the end of your contract or programme of study all borrowed items must be returned to the Library. The Library reserves the right to invoice you for the full costs of replacing any items that are not returned within a reasonable time period.
Changes to regulations
We may revise these regulations at any time and any changes will be notified via our website. By continuing to use our resources and services, after we notify a change of condition, you are agreeing to these revised terms and conditions of use.
We will use the information you provide in accordance with the Data Protection Act, 1998.
You must ensure that you use any information relating to living individuals that you find in our collections in accordance with the Data Protection Act, 1998.
Contact the Library and Archives
To book a visit or if you have any queries relating to the Library or Archives please get in touch using this formContact Us