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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 38 Collections and/or Records:

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...
Dates: 1960-1973

Inglis photographs of University of Edinburgh campus

 Fonds
Identifier: EUA GD63
Scope and Contents Groups of photographs, mounted on presentation boards, showing views of the University campus in the early 20th century.
Dates: early 20th century

Journal of a tour round the world taken by Sir John Fraser (1885-1947)

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1296
Scope and Contents The collection is composed of three bound volumes being Sir John Fraser's journal of a tour made around the world in 1935. Each volume contains many pages of black and white photographs along with pages of typescript text describing the journey. The first entry in the journal is dated Tuesday 22 January 1935 and describes the Langholm Hotel and the start of the journey to Southampton to catch the ship (RMS 'Aquitania') bound for New York. A journey across the USA by train followed,...
Dates: 1935

Papers of Rev. Earle Monteith Macphail

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-91
Scope and Contents The papers at shelfmark Gen. 2044-2073 consist of notebooks of notes from lectures at Edinburgh University and in India, 1878-1890.At MSS 2592-2593 there are personal papers including correspondence, a school notebook of handwriting dated 1875, and a school fees receipt dated 1869; photographs; notes of Natural Philosophy classes, 1879; and, essays, 1879. There is material marking celebrations of Edinburgh University Tercentenary; material of the Dialectic Society and the Diagnostic...
Dates: circa 1869-1930

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...
Dates: 1963-1983

Photographs of student life in the 1950s, Edinburgh University

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1104
Scope and Contents The collection is composed of: - b/w mounted group photograph showing the members of the National Council, SUS, 1952-1953, taken in Glasgow, May 1953, including Hills - b/w mounted group photograph showing the members of the Executive Committee of Edinburgh University, SRC, 1952-1953, Old College Quad., including Hills - b/w mounted group photograph showing members of Edinburgh...
Dates: 1949-1954

Plans of Chambers Street development, Edinburgh, 1925-1973

 Sub-Series
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/7
Scope and Contents Chambers Street development consists of:
  1. plans: National Library of Scotland feasibility studies, (c1971-1973)
  2. plans: Proposals for the new Museum of Scotland, (1925-1973)
  3. report on the Argyle Brewery Site, (1973)
Dates: 1925-1973

University of Edinburgh: "An Expanding University" - exhibition of university development at Adam House, correspondence, papers and photographs, 1960-1984

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/F/3
Scope and Contents University of Edinburgh: Permanent exhibition of university development at Adam House, correspondence, papers and photographs file consists of: correspondence including notes concerning work required to set-up the exhibition, the possibility of reinstating it and concern about its future. completed information forms concerning the buildings to be profiled in the exhibition a...
Dates: 1960-1984

University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area (1962), 1950-1964

 Sub-Series
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/1
Scope and Contents University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area (1962) consists of: background information, (1950-1962) preparation documents, (1961) preparation photographs, (c1961) drafts and final booklet published, (1962-1963) architectural model, (1962) photographs of architectural models, (1961-1962) lectures and...
Dates: 1950-1964

University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area (1962): drafts and final publication, 1962-1963

 File
Identifier: PJM/PJMA/EUD/B/1.4
Scope and Contents University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area (1962): drafts and final publication consists of: published copy of University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area ( 1962) published copy of University of Edinburgh Comprehensive Development Area...
Dates: 1962-1963