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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 7 Collections and/or Records:

Bristo Square, c1978

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/5.5.4
Scope and Contents Scenic line drawing in brown and black ink, on tracing paper (29cm x 56cm) diagonally across Edinburgh's Bristo Square looking towards the University of Edinburgh buildings: MacEwan Hall and the Student's Union building at Teviot Place. The drawing is initialled ADML.

"Bristo Square" plans published for consultation, c1978

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/5.5.5
Scope and Contents Reprint of a double page article from Edinburgh University Bulletin No 6 entitled "Bristo Square" plans published for consultation. This article outlines the plans for the creation of Edinburgh's new square and includes architectural drawings of the proposals. An aerial photograph of the site before the commencement of the necessary road realignment is also included.

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.

Lothian Street / Potterrow realignment, 1978

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/5.5.3
Scope and Contents Mixed collection of working drawings and plans (maximum dimension 86cm x 122cm) depicting the creation of Bristo Square in Edinburgh. There is a 3-dimensional pencil drawing, on tracing paper, of an oblique bird's eye view of the square and its adjacent buildings. 2 coloured (in thick felt-tip pen) paper stylised manuscript plans of the area. The first shows the proposed surface of the square, the second shows the site-lines around the area of the square. There are 2 sheets of small-scale...

Papers of the City of Edinburgh Working Party on Major Highway Planning, 1963-1983

 Sub-Series
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/A/1
Scope and Contents Papers of the City of Edinburgh Working Party on Major Highway Planning consists of: minutes, reports and correspondence, (1964-1976) City of Edinburgh Planning and Transport Study - reports, (1971) collected reports concerning transportation planning in Edinburgh, (1963-1983) plans: Tollcross CDA development brief, (1970) scenic drawings of...

University of Edinburgh: CDA proposals, 1969

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/1.8.6
Scope and Contents Set of 4 copy plans at 1:1250 scale (95cm x 137cm) by Percy Johnson-Marshall & Associates showing building positions and road layout designs for the proposed comprehensive development of the University of Edinburgh campus. One is a sketch plan showing building location in relation to road requirements. Three are overlaid on Ordnance Survey 1:1250 plans of the area. Two of these have identical base plans but are hand-coloured, one to show primary and secondary distributor roads, the other...

University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area (1962): preparation photographs, c1961

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/1.3
Scope and Contents Preparation photographs for the University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area (1962) consists of: 4 small notebooks, entitled Side 1 to Side IV: Edinburgh - Photographs University Area , containing photographs and notes of the area around the University of Edinburgh, (c1961) miscellaneous aerial photographs and panoramas of the...