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 62 Collections and/or Records:
Awards Fellowships, 1971-1978
Identifier: EUA IN1/ACU/M1/10/6
Scope and Contents correspondence and related documents
Class cards etc. relating to John Baillie Miller
Fonds — Box: EUA-A-10
Identifier: EUA GD67
Scope and Contents 2 matriculation cards (1862 and 1864); class cards - Greek (1862), Law of Scotland (1862/3), Scots law (1862/3), Criminal law (Summer session, 1863).
Class cards of Forbes T. Wallace
Scope and Contents The collection is composed of four cards, being:
- matriculation card, 1895
- matriculation card, 1896
- class card, Winter Session, 1895-1896. Lectures on Scots Law
- class card, Winter Session, 1896-1897. Lectures on Conveyancing
Class photographs of Honours Classics Graduates, Edinburgh University, 9 April 1901
Item — Box: CLX-D-72
Scope and Contents Class photograph mounted on board of Honours Classics Graduates, 9 April 1901, Edinburgh University. The students' names are given under the photo and on the back, Alexander F. Giles is at the bottom right. Photography studio: signature illegible - '25 North Bridge, Edinburgh'.
Dates: 9 April 1901
Collection of Class certificates 1951-1954 of John Robertson, Law student
Scope and Contents The University of Edinburgh class attendance certificates include those for: Civil Law during Academic Year 1951-1952, Jurisprudence during Academic Year 1951-1952, Administrative Law during Academic Year 1952-1953, Scots Law during Academic Year 1952-1953, Conveyancing during Academic year 1953-1954, and Public Law (Public International Law) during summer session of Academic Year 1953-1954. The collection also includes a Certificate of Merit certifying that John Robertson 'acquitted himself...
Collection of Thomas Jaffrey McNair
Scope and Contents The collection is composed largely of black and white photographs reflecting Thomas Jaffrey McNair's study and leisure-time activities while at Edinburgh University. There are photographs of: group photo Union women's dinner 1949 group photo Union men's dinner 1949 group photo Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Mr Walter Mercer's Clinique, Winter 1947 group photo...
Collection relating to James Stewart Fraser
Scope and Contents The collection is composed of: - copy of 'Gardyloo', 2 March 1940 - copy of 'Gardyloo', 29 April 1944 - copy of 'The Chalmers Watson Journal', 1935 (Rectorial election - D. Chalmers Watson) - copy of 'The Chalmers Watson Journal' (Once more a message on the eve of election) - 2 x copies of reprints of 'The Royal Medical Society', from 'The...
Correspondence and Memorabilia relating to Edinburgh University Rectorial Elections
Scope and Contents In one folder of the collection (E2006.03) there are letters mentioning events and reminiscences concerning Rectorial elections, candidate nominations, and pre-election speeches. There is memorabilia in the form of pamphlets and promotional leaflets feature the following candidates: Harold Macmillan; Alistair Sim; Sir Alexander Fleming; Aga Khan; Sir Andrew Murray; Jimmy Logan; John Cameron; Stephen Potter, Douglas Young, and Sir Robert Watson-Watt. There is also a copy of Edinburgh...
Degree and Diploma of Jane Potter Deas Dickson (nee Stuart)
Scope and Contents The collection includes: - school leaving certificate, Higher Education, Beath Secondary School, Fife, dated 1934, and noting subjects of English (Higher), Mathematics (Lower), Latin (Higher), French (Higher), and Art (Lower), and noting that Dickson continued at school for a further year till 1935. - pass certificate, English, University of Edinburgh, June 1936 - pass...
Degree and Graduation portraits of Margaret Robertson
Scope and Contents The collection is composed of: a black and white photograph - studio portrait - of Margaret Robertson wearing academic dress during the period of her graduation in 1919; copy of a studio portrait, seated pose, during the period of graduation; and, degree certificate or parchment of Margaret Robertson, interesting for the hand-corrected script indicating 1919 rather than 1909 (and indicative of the shortage of parchment paper in the wake of the 1914-1918 war).