University of Edinburgh (Scottish University)
- Existence: 1583-present
The University of Edinburgh was established by Royal Charter in 1582. It was originally called Tounis College, when part of a legacy left by Robert Reid, Bishop of Orkney in 1558 had established a college of which the Town Council had gained control to establish a College of Law on the South side of Edinburgh. The inception of the University took place in 1583. In 1617 when King James VI of Scotland (I of England) visited the College it was decreed that the College should change its name to King James' College, although the College continued to use the older title. The first change in the corporate body of the University was not until 1935 when the first merger took place. This was between the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Edinburgh and New College. This was due to the re-union of the Church of Scotland in 1932.The next merger was in 1951 when the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School was reconstituted as part of the University of Edinburgh. The Royal (Dick) Veterinary School achieved full faculty status in 1964. In 1998 Moray House Institute of Education became the Faculty of Education.
The first classes of the university were held in Hamilton House known as the Duke's Lodge. In 1582 a site that included St Mary in the Fields was acquired. Many new buildings and extensions were made to the site of Hamilton House after 1616. Two prominent stages of building for the University were those undertaken by Robert Adam and William Playfair. In 1869 the site next to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary was acquired. Building on this project was completed by the end of the 19th century. The University today is situated around these areas in the centre of Edinburgh and Kings Buildings and there are also campuses at Holyrood and elsewhere.
Teaching began in 1583 under Robert Rollock, with a four year course in arts to gain a masters of arts. When Rollock was appointed as the first principal of the University, there were four Philosophy regents and one regent of Humanity, whilst Rollock specialized in Divinity. Until the beginning of the 18th century the University remained essentially an Arts College, with a Divinity School attached. Throughout the 17th century the Chairs of Divinity, Oriental Languages, Ecclesiastical History and Mathematics had been created. By the end of the 17th century there was also regular teaching in Medicine, and sporadic teaching in Law. The University was at the centre of European Enlightenment in the 18th century. By 1722 a Faculty of Law had been established. The first medical Chair had been established in 1685 and was closely followed in the first half of the 18th century by six more. Four more medical Chairs were created in the 19th century. New Chairs in other Faculties were not established after 1760 until the latter half of the 19th century when they followed in rapid succession, continuing in the 20th century, which include those produced by the mergers with New College, the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School and Moray House Institute of Education.
The University was governed by the town council until the Universities (Scotland) Act of 1858, when it received self governing status. The archaic teaching and management system of regents was abolished in 1708. The 1858 act dramatically changed the constitution of the University. A University Court and General Council were introduced which decided on matters and management pertaining to the whole University. The Senatus Academicus was already in place before 1858and this managed academic matters, but answered to the Court and Council. This system is still used.
The University of Edinburgh provides validation for a Master of Fine Arts that has run jointly with Edinburgh College of Art since 1943. A joint chair, the Hood Chair of Mining Engineering was established in 1923 with Heriot-Watt College which became Heriot-Watt University.
In 2002, the structure of the university was altered substantially, with the abolition of Faculties and the creation of the College of Humanities & Social Science, the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine and the College of Science & Engineering. Departments were replaced by Schools within each Faculty.
Found in 22 Collections and/or Records:
City and Royal Burgh of Edinburgh development plan: University: Nicolson Street Comprehensive Development Area, 1972
Scope and Contents Set of 4 coloured manuscript themed plans by the City and Royal Burgh of Edinburgh overlaid on an Ordnance Survey 1:1250 scale mosaic base map (90cm x 120cm). One is a zoning map with coloured areas indicated for phases 1-4, each phase taking 5 years. One shows the levels of surveys required in certain areas, one shows electoral ward boundaries and one shows compulsory purchase designations in the area, with total acreages.
Found in: University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections / PJM, The Percy Johnson-Marshall Collection / Percy Johnson-Marshall Associates / University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area / University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area / University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area (1962) / University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area (1962): general maps and plans
Scope and Contents This file contains a selection of design briefs for Bristo Square commissioned by Percy Johnson-Marshall in his role as Planning Consultant to the University of Edinburgh. These include a Design brief for prospective architects, an urban design study and a full proposal by Percy Johnson-Marshall & Associates. A student group study, submitted as part of the University of Edinburgh Department of Urban Design and Regional Planning MPhil...
Scope and Contents This file contains discussion notes by Percy Johnson-Marshall, in his role as planning consultant to the University of Edinburgh. These cover the New Pedestrian Square at McEwan Hall ( 1978) and Lothian Street / Potter Row Realignment ( 1978) . Architectural drawings, maps and landscape plans are also included. Some of these...
Scope and Contents This file contains the contents of 4 files dealing with the conception, design and development of Bristo Square as part of the University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area (1962). Each file covers an individual year: 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1980. There is no file for 1977. The contents include draft and finished plans, architectural drawings, scenic drawings, reports and plans for an ideas competition. Detailed estimates for the cost of the project are included. Relevant University of...
Scope and Contents The contents of this original file entitled "Edinburgh University CDA: Faculty of Music, Law, Divinity, Veterinary" consists of general correspondence, sub-committee papers and minutes relating to the implementation of the University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area (1962) and other development works relating to the buildings in the relevant faculties. These include papers relating to three sub-committees of the University Development Committee: the New College, Phase II Project...
Found in: University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections / PJM, The Percy Johnson-Marshall Collection / Percy Johnson-Marshall Associates / University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area / University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area / University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area (1962): general correspondence, sub-committee papers and minutes
Scope and Contents plans: tentative planning proposals: Arts and Social Sciences Precinct, (1964) plans: Arts Faculty Block D - William Robertson Building and David Hume Tower, (1964) plans: sketch layout of Windmill House area, (1964) plans: Podium edge details - blocks C, D and E, (1966) plans: Arts Faculty Block G feasibility study, (1965) ...
Scope and Contents Set of 7 plans produced at 1/8" scale and 1/6" scale, by the University of Edinburgh Works Department and the Department of Architecture, showing details of proposed alterations to various properties by the University of Edinburgh in George Square in Edinburgh. Properties affected are nos 10,11, 12 and 59.
George Square Redevelopment: plans: University of Edinburgh - preliminary layout of George Square, February 1955
Scope and Contents 1 copy of a layout plan (62cm x 75cm) by Sir Basil Spence showing the proposed layout for the George Square area of the University of Edinburgh at approximately 1:2500 scale. The plan includes the library, medical school, student's union and chapel.
Dates: February 1955
Scope and Contents 5 reports concerning proposals for the redevelopment of George Square by the University of Edinburgh. Included is the 1963 proposal for the whole of George Square, by Percy Johnson-Marshall, in his capacity as Planning Consultant to the University. Original photographs of scenic drawings by Alexander Duncan Bell and an architectural model, used as illustrations for this report, are included. Other reports are: proposals for disabled access by Percy Johnson-Marshall & Associates, and...
Scope and Contents Papers of the University of Edinburgh Development Committee consists of:
- committee papers and reports, (1962)
- committee minutes and papers, (1976-1984)
- miscellaneous sub-committee papers, (1978-1985)
- Old College courtyard and stone cleaning, (1976-1978)