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Edinburgh University Archives is part of Special Collections within the Centre for Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh We are responsible for looking after the historical records of the University and related bodies and as such we look after the corporate memory of the University.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Quartercentenary Collection

Notice relating to Scottish Parliamentary Debate, 1938
The Quartercentenary Collection came about as a result of an appeal that was made as the University of Edinburgh approached its 400th anniversary in 1983.  Former staff, students and others responded and sent in all types of university-related items, from student magazines to prize books, from lecture notes to memoirs, from photographs to degree certificates and much more. The scale of the response meant that it has taken until now to start getting a handle on much of it.

We have now begun a full survey of items in the collection was begun and to date nearly 850 items have been documented.  These will form the basis of new catalogue records.

Largely though not exclusively representing the 'student experience, this collection is a real treasure trove and we are glad to being close to make it easily accessible for research.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Neil Armstrong

In memory of astronaut Neil Armstrong, we are displaying the award by the University of Edinburgh to him of Doctor Honoris Causa.  The ceremony took place a the British Embasy in Washington on 13 June 2008.

We hold the certificate (shown here) in the University Archives.

Award certificate
© University of Edinburgh

Further details of the event is on the main University website.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

University Mace stolen - reward offered!

On the night betwixt the 29th/30th October 1787 the door of the Library was broken open by thieves and the University Mace was stolen from the press where it was usually deposited.  The Magistrates offered a reward of ten Guineas for the discovery of the Delinquents.
'NB' inset entered between the College minutes for 11th September and 3rd December 1787.

The University would appear to have been without a mace until 1789. William Creech presented the College with a new one at the meeting of 2nd October that year.  At the same meeting it was reported that the University been granted Arms by the Lord Lyon and that a new seal was to be made, the use of one of the city's seals being "inconvenient and unsuitable to the dignity of the University".

Monday, August 6, 2012

Early Veterinary students

Although our registers of students who attended the Edinburgh / Royal Dick Veterinary College only begin in the 1860s, the college itself was established in 1823.  Although, unlike the University, there is no easily-identifiable published list of early students, one does in fact exist.  Included in William Dick's 'Occasional Papers' (published 1869) is a list of all the graduates. 

The list gives their name, year of graduation and place of residence.  Cornell University have a digitised copy of the entire publication at

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why no posts?

Our blog is temporarily silent due to various other commitments. We hope to begin posting items of interest again by this spring (or even before if we can manage).

Best wishes to all our followers.