The Sir Duncan Rice Library

The Sir Duncan Rice Library

A 21st century space for learning and research 

The Sir Duncan Rice Library
Bedford Road
University of Aberdeen 
AB24 3AA

Tel: +44 (0)1224 273330

The Sir Duncan Rice Library was officially opened on 24th September 2012 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh. It houses the largest of the University's modern collections on Floors 1-7 - including Arts, Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences, and historic collections of rare books, manuscripts and archives in the Special Collections Centre on the Lower Ground Floor.

The building is open to the wider public, as well as students and staff. A wide range of facilities and services are available including:

  • A Gallery on the Ground Floor for exhibitions and displays (which all are welcome to visit)
  • An Events Area for school visits, and lectures and presentations
  • A Microform Room, Multimedia Room, Music Resources Room, the Teaching Resource Collection, Assistive Technology Booths and other facilities
  • PCs on every floor

There are also more informal areas including The Hardback Café on the Ground Floor (which is open to all), and the 'Break-out' Room on Floor 7, where students can enjoy panoramic views of the city while reading, working on a laptop, or engaging in quiet conversation. 

There are over 1,200 study spaces: from traditional silent study rooms to interactive areas for collaborative projects. The entire building has comprehensive wireless network coverage, and there are also wired network connection sockets to plug in your own laptop throughout. 

The building, designed by Danish architects schmidt hammer lassen was conceived to mark the ice and light of the north. The design concept was to provide "a meeting place and a cultural centre for the University and the wider Aberdeen community".

Building Facts and Figures

  • 22,000 tonnes of concrete
  • 2,200 tonnes of steel
  • 760 glass panels
  • 4,700 lights
  • 24 kilometres of shelving


  • Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), rated Excellent, 2009
  • Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) award, 2013
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award, 2013