HES Archives and Library

John Sinclair House, 16 Bernard Terrace, Edinburgh EH8 9NX

0131 651 6872

Visiting us

To help keep everyone safe, we have introduced some changes.

What to expect

New measures to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff include:

  • visitors must pre-book your visit at least five working days in advance (an appointment is for one person only)
  • all material must be ordered in advance, including books and photographs
  • all material is quarantined before and after visitors have consulted it
  • visitors must wear a face covering, unless you are exempt
  • visitors are asked to wash hands before and after visiting our search rooms, and regularly throughout your visit
  • one-way systems throughout the building
  • social distancing measures and the provision of hand sanitiser points
  • we are part of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect scheme
  • On arrival at John Sinclair House, please knock on the front door to be admitted. You will be welcomed by a member of staff and issued with a visitor label. Safety measures will be explained.

Viewing archival material

If you'd like to view original historic photographs, drawings and manuscripts, search Canmore - the online catalogue of the HES Archives - to find the items that you would like to see in person.

When you book to visit, you can request up to ten items to view on your visit. We'll contact you to confirm that they will be available for you on your arrival.

To request books and journals, search online and let us know what you want to consult.

Preparing for your visit

Bring with you as little as possible, as lockers are not available at this time.

Please do bring:

  • a face covering or face mask
  • your own pencil
  • warm clothing, as windows will be open to improve ventilation
  • your own mobile, tablet or laptop as the computers and photocopiers are not available for use

The material you have requested will be on a desk when you arrive. Unfortunately we cannot retrieve more archive items on the day of your appointment.

Please do not browse the Library on your visit. Staff will be on hand to help with your enquiry but we ask you to maintain social distancing.

Still have questions? 

Read our FAQs

Opening times

Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 4pm

Advance booking required.


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