Cape Town Campus

Plan your visit

The national library is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. On Wednesdays, the library is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Getting to the Library

By Bus

The library is well located within Cape Town, a short distance from many city attractions. For those wishing to take the bus to the National Library of South Africa, the MyCiti bus offers a convenient and affordable option.

By Car

For those arriving by car, the National Library is accessible via the following GPS coordinates: 33°55’29.2″S 18°25’06.4″E Ample parking is available on-site

From the N1 Highway
  • Take Exit 12 towards Cape Town Centre/Sea Point.
  • Turn left onto National Highway 1.
  • Turn right onto Wale Street.
  • The library is located on the right-hand side of the street.
  • Take Exit 10 towards Cape Town Centre.
  • Turn left onto Somerset Road.
  • Turn right onto Darling Street.
  • Turn left onto Queen Victoria Street.
  • Turn right onto Wale Street.
  • The library is located on the right-hand side of the street.

33°55’29.2″S 18°25’06.4″E

There is ample parking available at the National Library of South Africa. The parking lot is located behind the library building and is accessible from Wale Street.

User services available on Cape Town Campus

Reference Library

You'll find research materials, computers for accessing online databases and the NLSA's collection and even assistance retrieving materials from the stacks.

Reading Room

This collection is kept on open shelves and users are able to browse and retrieve books. Seating space on the ground floor and the mezzanine level is available.

Microfilm Room

The Microfilm Room provides microfiche and microfilm reader printers for researchers to access and convert text materials into an easily readable format. Staff are available to train users on equipment operation.

Photocopying Room

Text Retrieval and Reading Room staff assist users in making photocopies within the limits of the Copyright Act.

Special Collections

The Special Collections section provides reference and retrieval services for a variety of materials, including rare books, manuscripts, maps, and iconography. Many of the items are indexed online and can be accessed via the OPAC. All items are housed in the Abe Bailey Reading Room. Please make an appointment as some items are stored off-site. Special care is taken when handling materials, so only pencils or laptops may be used for taking notes.

Reader Services

The Reader Services section at the National Library in Cape Town facilitates access to the library's extensive collection of materials. The Reading Room assists users in locating and retrieving materials, while the Photocopy section provides duplication services within copyright guidelines. Additionally, Reader Services handles intercampus loan requests from the Pretoria Campus, ensuring access to a wider range of resources.

When you visit the national library, you will need to bring the following:

Your ID card

A laptop or notebook (if you need it)

Find us anywhere, anytime

From the Communications Desk