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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 74 Collections and/or Records:

Edinburgh University CDA: Faculty of Music, Law, Divinity, Veterinary, 1965-1973

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/4.1
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...

EUCDA sections, 1961

 Item
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/1.8.10
Scope and Contents Pen and ink manuscript transparancy at 1:1250 scale (75cm x 85cm) of sections of the proposed layout for the University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area. 4 sections are shown along with heights in feet. There is no base plan showing the location of the sections or indication of where the heights given are measured from.

EUCDA sections, c1962

 Item
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/1.8.11
Scope and Contents Copy of 1:1250 Ordnance Survey mosaic (89cm x 100cm) probably by Percy Johnson-Marshall & Associates, of the area covered by the University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area overlaid with the hand coloured partial proposed new road layout. This includes the proposed motorway junction to the east of Nicolson Street and traffic flow directions for proposed distributor roads around the University area.

George Square redevelopment: Civic Trust Award, 1969

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/6.2
Scope and Contents Material relating to the Civic Trust Award gained for the George Square Redevelopment Project undertaken by Percy Johnson-Marshall & Associates. The material consists of the award submission, a set of 22 (16cm x 22cm) photographs of the area with an accompanying location plan and the award certificate.

George Square Redevelopment: faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, plans, 1964-1966

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/6.5
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) ...

George Square Redevelopment: plans and drawings for Edinburgh University Main Library and Liverpool University Library, 1960-1967

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/6.8
Scope and Contents George Square Redevelopment: plans and drawings for Edinburgh University Main Library and Liverpool University Library consists of: set of plans, by Sir Basil Spence, Glover & Ferguson, entitled "University Library" consists of 12 plans and 5 elevations, mostly at 1/16 scale. There are 5 different versions of the site plan, floor plans for the lower ground, ground and second floor, 2 different versions of a...

George Square Redevelopment: plans: Faculty of Science, 1963

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/6.7
Scope and Contents 3 copy pencil perspective drawings (38cm x 58cm) of the proposed University of Edinburgh Science Faculty Buildings, for 1st year students, at George Square in Edinburgh. These buildings were never constructed. One has pencil annotations of calculations.

George Square Redevelopment: plans: landscape and streetscape, 1964-1965

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/6.6
Scope and Contents Set of plans by Percy Johnson-Marshall Associates relating to the landscape and streetscape details of the development of the George Square area by the University of Edinburgh. The plans include: George Square Gardens: a large scale, hand coloured base layout of George Square Gardens (42cm x 60cm) University of Edinburgh: George Square area: treatment of south and east sides of the square - a...

George Square redevelopment: reports, 1960-1973

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/6.3
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...

Lothian Street / Potterrow realignment, 1979

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/5.5.2
Scope and Contents 3 copy plans, on paper, (85cm x 115cm) showing the proposed road realignment of Lothian Street and Potterrow, in Edinburgh, to make way for the construction of Bristo Square. One plan shows the road alignment and associated banking and bridgework overlain on an Ordnance Survey 1:1250 plan. This also shows the electricity supply in the area overlaid. The other 2 plans are at 1:500 scale show different details of layout, measurements, street furniture etc. One of these plans is hand coloured.