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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 16 Collections and/or Records:

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.

Correspondence to Sir Archibald Geikie: Thomas Lauder Brunton to William Sweetland Dallas, 1857-1913

 Sub-Series
Identifier: Coll-74/11/10
Scope and Contents The Correspondence to Sir Archibald Geikie: Thomas Lauder Brunton to William Sweetland Dallas sub-series consists of:
  1. 74 letters to Sir Archibald Geikie, alphabetically arranged (1857-1913)

Godfrey Thomson Unit for Educational Research, 1896-1979

 Sub-subfonds
Identifier: EUA IN1/ACU/G1
Scope and Contents Material regarding the Moray House Tests, c1920s-1970s; Northumberland Mental Tests, c1920s; Sample tests, 1920-1987; Testing Samples, United States, c1920s-1950s; Publications, 1896-c1978; Godfrey Thomson, c1930s-1947; Correspondence...

Graduates in Education, 1914-1947

 Series
Identifier: EUA IN1/ADS/STA/6

Material collected by Elsie G. Taylor

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1446
Scope and Contents Taylor's University of Edinburgh, B.Ed. degree graduation hood, 1948; First Class Certificate of Merit awarded to Elsie G. Taylor for her performance in Advanced Theory and History of Education, signed by Professor Godfrey Thomson, 1948; Sketch diagram of Room 70 showing positioning of staff and desks (collected by Professor Ian Deary during the Economic...

Papers of Godfrey H. Thomson

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1310
Scope and Contents Biographical and personal papers, c mid 19th century-1972; Publications authored and co-authored by Thomson, 1904-1954; Unpublished materials by Thomson, 1897-1954; Publications collected by Thomson regarding education, intelligence, psychology, and statistics, 1879-1971 Unpublished material collected by Thomson and authored by others, c mid 20th...

Papers of Marjorie Rackstraw

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-705
Scope and Contents The collection is composed of: sorted letters, cards, newspaper cuttings; photographs; a file on displaced persons, notes of reminiscences for broadcast; Automobile Association documents; letters from Sara Margery Fry (1874-1958); book on Sara Margery Fry; cassette tapes; biographical papers; pamphlets on Masson Hall, Edinburgh University; a report on women students; album of photographs relating to Masson Hall; newsletter of the Masson Association; several dozen foreign and domestic picture...

Papers of Professor Walter Ledermann

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1064
Scope and Contents The collection largely consists of letters from Godfrey Thomson to Ledermann. Many are highly mathematical in content, containing formulae and mathematical notation, though they also regard social events and contain enquiries from Thomson with regards to the safety of Ledermann's family throughout the war.

Papers relating to Donald Macpherson Baillie, 1908-1961

 Series
Identifier: BAI 7
Scope and Contents The papers relating to Donald Macpherson Baillie consist of:
  1. articles, cuttings and ephemera
  2. career/employment resum├ęs and references
  3. correspondence
  4. memorials and letters of condolence

Papers relating to John Baillie, Free Church minister, Gairloch, c1880-1894

 Series
Identifier: BAI 5
Scope and Contents The papers relating to John Baillie, Free Church minister, Gairloch, consist of:
  1. certificates
  2. correspondence
  3. legal papers
  4. memorials
  5. religious texts
  6. theological notes