Information for Visitors

You are welcome to visit our libraries at any time. If you wish only to view the building you will be given a VISITOR PASS which you must return at the end of your visit. You will be asked for proof of identity e.g. driving licence, passport, bus pass or school ID. The Visitor Pass will give you access to the building only for that day.

Should you wish to consult our collections and may wish to enter and leave the building during your visit or if you wish to return at a future date to consult our collections we can give you an ACCESS PASS for the day or longer. The Access Pass does not give you the right to borrow (see Library Membership if you wish to borrow). You will be required to register your details and provide photographic proof of identity e.g. driving licence, passport, bus pass or school ID.

Visitors to The Sir Duncan Rice Library may register in advance of their visit by clicking on this link - Visitor Registration Form - or by using the dedicated PC in the entrance area of The Sir Duncan Rice Library. More information is available.

You can also download a printable Visitor Guide to The Sir Duncan Rice Library.


The main Library, the Sir Duncan Rice Library, is located on the edge of the Old Aberdeen campus. It contains our modern collections of resources in Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences. Our Special Collections Centre on the Lower Ground Floor of the Sir Duncan Rice Library houses our collections of rare books, manuscripts and archives and local material.

Taylor Library in the heart of the Old Aberdeen campus contains Law material and the European Documentation Centre (EU).

The Medical Library is located in the Medical School which is part of the main hospital site – Foresterhill – in Aberdeen.

The Reid Library in the Rowett Institute at Bucksburn on the outskirts of Aberdeen is our library for nutrition.


Full details of Library Membership categories are available. Below is a summary for members of the public.

Members of the public can take out a membership of the library and be able to borrow up to 10 printed items. The membership is for either 3 months (£15.00 + £30.00 returnable deposit) or a year.

The annual cost is £40.00 (£20.00 for Alumni of Aberdeen University) + £30.00 returnable deposit.

You will be required to provide photographic proof of identity e.g. driving licence, passport, bus pass or school ID and proof of address e.g. a utility bill or bank statement.

There are also corporate rates for which you should contact the Information Centre in the Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Members of the Friends of the Library have a reduced rate of membership and life members pay no annual fee to borrow.

Senior pupils and teachers from local schools in the North East can borrow via their school library. See the section on Schools for more information.


Many books and journals are now available in electronic form and sometimes only in that format. Due to licensing restrictions we are not permitted to allow non members of the university access to these resources. However through our Walk-In Users Service many of our e-resources, especially millions of journal articles, are freely available to members of the public.

  • You are required to register for this service
  • The service is only available on dedicated PCs in the Sir Duncan Rice Library
  • Remote access is not possible

More information on the Walk-In Users Service is available.


6th year pupils doing Advanced Highers, teachers and school librarians are able to borrow up to 3 items provided an agreement has been set up with their school library. There is then a charge of £1.00 per item which the school or individual has to pay.

For more information about the system, see our Schools Service page.


Car parking

General information about car parking on University of Aberdeen sites is available at
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/estates/supportservices/car-parking/. This campus map is available for reference.

  • The University of Aberdeen car park to the south of The Sir Duncan Rice Library on Bedford Road is available for visitor use after 4pm on weekdays and all weekends free of charge.

    Please note that during weekdays from 10-4pm the Bedford Road car park is for the use of University of Aberdeen staff and authorised permit holders only. Unauthorised use during this time may result in a £60 fine.
  • On-street visitor parking is available on Bedford Road next to the library.
    Please note that Aberdeen City Council parking charges apply:
  • Disabled parking bays are available by the Special Collections Centre (beneath The Sir Duncan Rice Library) on Bedford Road, and to the left of the Library bus turning circle – there is no charge for parking in these bays. Please ensure your blue badge is visible.

Accessibility Information

  • Parking: Designated blue-badge parking bays are available by the Special Collections Centre and can be accessed from Bedford Road – Please follow the road round the building to gain access to the spaces closest to the Academic Square. There are also spaces available to the left of the Library bus turning circle, there is no charge for parking in these bays. Please ensure your blue badge is visible. Campus map
  • One Mobility Scooter and one manual wheelchair are available for use within The Sir Duncan Rice Library. These can be collected from the Welcome Desk. If you will require these facilities please notify us in advance so that we may book the relevant equipment for you.

    Please see this Library Guide to Accessible Library Facilities and Services for further information.