Cooperation between libraries is time-consuming, but is both ‘worthwhile and essential. Scottish research libraries commenced active cooperation in 1977: the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries now has 15 active members. More recently, libraries in Scotland have been encouraged to work together following the creation of the Scottish Library and Information Council. The National Library has a key role to play, but in partnership with other libraries rather than invariably taking the lead. Cooperation between Scottish art libraries can be traced back to the 1950s and to the development, under the auspices of the National Library, of a union catalogue of art books in Edinburgh. This project is being extended and it will eventually become a national database. The group of libraries responsible for the project has taken on a wider role and an expanded membership as the Scottish Visual Arts Group, one of several subject groups under the umbrella of the Scottish Confederation of University & Research Libraries. The Group will work closely with the Scottish Library and Information Council, and with ARLIS/UK & Ireland in the wider framework of the United Kingdom. (This article is the revised text of a paper presented to the ARLIS/UK & Ireland 25th Anniversary Conference in London, 7th-10th April 1994).