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University of Edinburgh (Scottish University)



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 25 Collections and/or Records:

University of Edinburgh Development Committee: committee papers and reports, 1962

Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/A/3.1
Scope and Contents This file contains a set of committee papers for the University Development Committee held on 28 November 1962. It also contains several versions of a report, Progress report to the Development Committee ( 1962) , given by Percy Johnson-Marshall in his capacity as Planning Consultant to the University. This report outlines progress in the creation of a Comprehensive Development Plan for the University. In...
Dates: 1962

University of Edinburgh Development Committee: miscellaneous sub-committee papers, 1978-1985

Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/A/3.3
Scope and Contents

Contents of an original file containing miscellaneous minutes, agenda, papers and correspondence concerning the work of three sub-committees of the University of Edinburgh Development Committee, which Percy Johnson-Marshall sat on as part of his duties as planning consultant to the University. The sub-committees represented are: the Central Area Development Sub-committee, the Science Faculty Development Sub-committee and the Conservation Group Sub-committee.

Dates: 1978-1985

University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings Development: aerial photographs, 1964-1967

Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/D/2.3
Scope and Contents

A series of 14 large format black and white aerial photographic prints (maximum size 30cm x 50cm) of the University of Edinburgh King's Buildings, taken in the 1960s by a professional photographer, and purchased by Percy Johnson-Marshall (possibly on behalf of Percy Johnson-Marshall & Associates) in connection with University of Edinburgh Development work at this location.

Dates: 1964-1967

University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings Development: chemistry department, 1951-1964

Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/D/5.13
Scope and Contents

University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings Development: chemistry department consists of:

  1. plans: chemistry extension - conversion of animal genetics building, (1951)
  2. plans: chemistry extension, (1963-1964)
  3. ()
Dates: 1951-1964

University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings Development: committee and sub-committee papers, 1949-1978

Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/D/1
Scope and Contents

File of papers relating to the development planning at the University of Edinburgh King's Buildings complex. The file contains incomplete sets of correspondence, committee papers and minutes for the King's Buildings Committee and a number of its sub-committees: the King's Buildings Centre Phase III Project Sub-Committee, the Science Faculty Development Sub-committee, the Geology/Geophysics Building Sub-committee and the Engineering Building Project Sub-committee.

Dates: 1949-1978

University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings Development: development plans, c1960-1970

Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/D/4
Scope and Contents The University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings Development: plans series consists of: development plans, (1962-1970) development plan, (c1960) boundary layout plan, (c1965) boundary layout plan (2), (c1965) King's Buildings roads: details of the perimeter road adjacent to site for Institute of Geological Sciences, (September 1970) ...
Dates: c1960-1970

University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings Development: photographs, 1949-1978

Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/D/2
Scope and Contents

The University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings Development: photographs series consists of:

  1. photographs of an architectural model (c1978)
  2. general photographs (c1978)
  3. aerial photographs (1964-1967)
Dates: 1949-1978

University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings Development: reports, 1961-c1984

Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/D/3
Scope and Contents

3 reports concerning the development of the University of Edinburgh King's Buildings site. These detail outline proposals for the development and use of the site, and report on redevelopment to date. 2 were produced by the architects and engineers appointed for individual development projects on the site. The last is a handwritten draft by Percy Johnson-Marshall

Dates: 1961-c1984

University of Edinburgh: Mound Lawnmarket Comprehensive Development Area: architectural model, 1968

 File — Object PJM/PJMA/EUD/E/1 (model)
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/E/1
Scope and Contents

Architectural model of the buildings in area between the Mound, the Lawnmarket and Ramsay Garden as they were at the time of the publication of the Comprehensive Development Area in 1964. The model was provided by Percy Johnson-Marshall and measures L 170 cm x W 80 cm x H 50 cm.

Dates: 1968

University of Edinburgh: Mound Lawnmarket Comprehensive Development Area: Mylne's Court renovation, 1964-1970

Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/E/5
Scope and Contents

University of Edinburgh: Mound Lawnmarket Comprehensive Development Area: Mylne's Court renovation consists of:

  1. Philip Henman Hall opening ceremony (c1970)
  2. plans (1964)
Dates: 1964-1970