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University of Edinburgh (Scottish University)

 Organization

Dates

  • 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 127 Collections and/or Records:

A Law: notes from lectures on Chemistry by Joseph Black

 Fonds — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll-1374
Scope and Contents The lectures on chemistry by Joseph Black consist of:
  1. 3 volumes of lecture notes (1775)

Abstract of Journal of William Henry Playfair

 Fonds — Volume: Dc.3.73
Identifier: Coll-1677
Content Description The volume is concerned mainly with affairs connected with the building of the University of Edinburgh, 1817-1822. It also lists details of income and expenditure during the period and, refers to other projects, clients etc.Playfair's opening paragraph describes this as an abstract of a journal of "the principal transactions and events of my life, chiefly in order to prevent doubt and confusion in matters of business."The volume mentions Playfair taking occupancy of the Mathematics...

Autograph letters signed by John Stuart Blackie

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1514
Scope and Contents The first letter on University of Edinburgh embossed notepaper, dated 3 February 1865, begins 'My Dear Sir' and sends his 'sincere thanks for the present' of a book. Blackie is sorry that he is 'too much occupied at present to allow [...] the p[leasure of reading it; but the subject is so interesting and important' that hw ill make time soon. The second letter on notepaper headed 24 Hill Street, Edinburgh, is dated 25 November [no year], and begins 'My Dear Moir'. It is a letter...

Class cards of Forbes T. Wallace

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1245
Scope and Contents The collection is composed of four cards, being:
  1. matriculation card, 1895
  2. matriculation card, 1896
  3. class card, Winter Session, 1895-1896. Lectures on Scots Law
  4. class card, Winter Session, 1896-1897. Lectures on Conveyancing

Class notes - Lectures on Agriculture and Entemology, given by Professor Wallace and Dr. Fream

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1283
Scope and Contents This volume in typescript contains careful notes on these two series of lectures at the University of Edinburgh. The first series, by Professor Robert Wallace (1853-1939), Chair of Agriculture, covers dairying, with extensive coverage of the different types of cheese and their production. The second, by Dr. William Fream, covers agricultural entomology, essentially the varieties of pests that attack crops. There are ink drawings throughout. Spine-title and title-page both indicate...

Clinical cases of Dr. Rutherford and Dr. Gregory, November 1793

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1326
Scope and Contents An index at the beginning of this substantial volume of clinical case notes lists 28 women and 31 men with their symptoms and treatment recorded in manuscript notes over more than 600 pages. The manuscript offers much information on the methods of these two leading 18th century Scottish physicians.

Collection of Class certificates 1951-1954 of John Robertson, Law student

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1435
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 copies of 'The Procession'

 Fonds — Box: CLX-A-767, Volume: Coll-1103 / E.2007.1
Identifier: Coll-1103
Scope and Contents This small hybrid collection contains in a single volume - bound together - off-print copies of 'The Procession', copies of 'Monthly Papers for Students', manuscript notes, and newspaper cuttings. The printed copies of articles from 'The Procession' (or possibly complete issues of the journal) include: 1874 - The Procession - a fragmentary epic on recent events; and, 1874 - The Election. Newspaper cuttings are from The Scotsman dated Saturday 11 April 1874, and relating...

Collection of Library slips relating to Edinburgh University theses, 1844

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1288
Scope and Contents The 5 x slips (fragments) were discovered by cataloguing staff inside earlier Edinburgh University theses. They are handwritten in ink. The fragments are: - a note of page references with some remarks relating to a medical text - a list of theses sent either by or to Prof. Christison, Edinburgh College, 26 July 1844 - with the names Vass, Anderson, Chepmell, Etherington, Fleming, Jones ...

Collection of recordings (78rpm) of a lecture given by Sir Godfrey Thomson in 1950

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1448
Scope and Contents The collection is composed of 5 (lacquer) acetate 78 rpm records containing a recording of a lecture on University teaching given by Godfrey H. Thomson in 1950.