The world bought to life through powerful articles, images, maps, and videos from 1881 to the present day

Award-winning iconic journal of the National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Virtual Library combines the complete archive of the award-winning National Geographic magazine – every page of every issue from 1888 to the present day with only a two-issue embargo – together with a vast multimedia collection of National Geographic books, images, maps and videos, plus National Geographic Traveller Magazine.

The library provides unparalleled, in-depth coverage of cultures, nature, science, technology and environment.


  • All the content – including the multimedia – is fully cross-searchable
  • A ‘Search Assist’ feature is available
  • Only a two-issue embargo on National Geographic magazine
  • A wide range of text books
  • Videos covering topics such as the Islamic world, and alternative energy
  • Full-colour maps including continents, countries, the poles, oceans, and space
  • Iconic images


“I think it is a very attractive website with some features that make it a wonderful tool.  The range of topics covered is huge and the browsing and ‘related subject’ functions make it very easy to get lost exploring, but it is easy to get back to where you need to be and keep track of your research.  Pupils doing independent projects will find it easy to use and the variety of brief and in depth articles mean that it could be suitable for research from KS3 upwards.  Teachers could pull out individual articles or even adverts to print and analyse with a class, or have a shared folder of useful resources for a topic for pupils to access outside of the lesson) depending on a group subscription).” Caroline Fielding,
Librarian, Blackheath Bluecoat School

Licence agreements

Access options

IP Authentication, Referring URLS, Single Sign-on, Username and Password


To find out more about how the different access options work please see our General Access Information.

Usage statistics

Usage statistics are available when you log in to your admin account.

Promotional materials and downloads

Download and share the National Geographic Virtual Library brochure and the factsheet — ideal for displaying around the school.


What content is included?

  • Featured images, hundreds of images that can be downloaded for educational use
  • Full-text books from National Geographic on travel, science, and technology, history, encironment, animals, photography and peoples and cultures
  • Feature articles including cover stories and main articles from National Geographic magazine
  •  Recurring sections from National Geographic magazine that cover various topics
  • Includes videos from National Geographic that cover a wide range of topics: animals, the environment, peoples and cultures, science and technology, travel and more
  • Up-to-date maps and atlases that cover economics, politics, space, history, destinations, and more
  • Map supplements and maps appearing within articles from national Geographic magazine
  • The cover from every issues of National Geographic magazine has been digitized and is searchable
  • Includes all advertisements printed within the National Geographic magazine an on the back cover.

How far back does the content go?

The resource covers the years 1888 to the present day with only a two-issue embargo.

What subjects does the National Geographic Virtual Library support?

Content is particularly relevant for the teaching of Geography, History, Culture, Art, Science, Medicine, Anthropology, Technology, Global Studies, Politics, and Architecture. It is also ideal for supporting the EPQ.

How do I change the display language?

You can choose which language you want the user interface to use when displaying menus, links and instructions.

1. Click the language that appears near the top of the screen.

2. In the Select Your Language window, click to select a different display language.

Can I generate citations?

Yes, there is a citation tool which generates citations in MLA 8th Edition, APA 6th Edition, and Chicago 17th Edition. You can then download and/or export the citation.