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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 11 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)

Course Descriptions , 1960-1961

 File
Identifier: Coll-1577/3/4
Scope and Contents Papers related mostly to the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Edinburgh (one item from University of Cambridge.) Includes course notes and outlines and a binder containing administrative papers related to the Department of Molecular Biology at Edinburgh University.

James Johnson: notes from lectures on chemistry by Joseph Black

 Fonds — Volume: Dc.10.1
Identifier: Coll-1375
Scope and Contents The lectures on chemistry by Joseph Black consist of:
  1. 1 volume of lecture notes (1770-1775)

Lecture Notes of John Robison

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-204
Scope and Contents Lecture notes from the time when Robison was Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. The notes embrace the sciences of mechanics, hydrodynamics, astronomy and optics, together with electricity and magnetism.

It is assumed that these are Robison's own notes but this has not been verified.

Letter to Arthur James Balfour from Professor Alexander Crum Brown, 04 July 1904

 Item
Identifier: Coll-14/9/9/70
Scope and Contents Crum Brown writes to Balfour that he believes the University of Edinburgh should have three ordinary professors of Chemistry who work co-operatively together and who are each assigned a laboratory and junior staff. He then includes some financial projections for salaries and a new building which he states 'should not be ornate' and should be built so it could be extended.

Notes of Lectures of Professor Crum Brown, taken down by George Burns

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1251
Scope and Contents The two volumes forming the collection contain a set of notes on Professor Crum Brown's lectures taken in Winter Session 1892-3 by George Burns (then residing in Grange Road, Edinburgh), in a clear and legible hand. The volumes are labelled on first pages as; Chemistry 1; and, Chemistry 2. They are stamped on the spine as 'Note Book' and on the front boards with the University badge.

Papers of Dr. John Walker

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-205
Scope and Contents [to be completed]

Papers of Joseph Black and family

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-16
Scope and Contents 5 boxes of correspondence between himself and a variety of individuals (including James Watt, Prince Paul Dashkov, John Robison) and on a variety of subjects: linen bleaching, use of lime water, assays of ores, civic water supply, mineralogical specimens, absorption of heat etc 1 box of family letters between Black, his father and his brothers Samuel, George and Thomas ...

Three medical notebooks, two of which relate to Alexander Woodcock fl. 1833-1845

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1483
Scope and Contents The Alexander Woodcock notebooks contain: Lectures on Anatomy and Physiology - Alexander Jardine Lizar - notebook noted 5 November 1833 Lectures on Chemistry - Doctor Hope - 11 July 1845 A third volume contains: Notes from 1 September 1843 - 20 July 1844 - Patient cases ...

University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings Development: buildings plans, 1951-1978

 Sub-Series
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/D/5
Scope and Contents The University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings Development: buildings plans consists of: plans: proposed car park plans, (1971 plans: College of Agriculture, (1954-1974) plans: King's Buildings Centre, (1964-1973) plans: Maths / Physics Institute, (1965-1975) plans: zoology building, (1959-1973 plans: department of animal...