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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 60 Collections and/or Records:

Manuscript account book of Scottish statistician, Major Patrick George Craigie

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1456
Scope and Contents The account notebook contains detailed and precise notes for his time at Edinburgh University, starting October 1859 with expenditure for session 1859-1860. The first page shows detail from 31 October to 24 November 1859 including ten shillings (10/-) for his train fare (from Perth), his one shilling and sixpence (1/6) cab fare from the railway station to Melville Street, and his bill of two pounds eleven shilings and twopence (£1/11/2) for lodgings and food for one week and three days. On 29...
Dates: 1859-1865

Material around the Edinburgh University student history of Alan Owen MA., Dip.Ed., B.Ed

 Fonds — Box: CLX-A-1182
Identifier: Coll-1439
Scope and Contents The collection of material relating to life at University for Alan Owen and Anne Hyslop Gemmell is composed of: Cowan House, Hall of Residence for Men - Owen admitted 1939 - documents relating to Cowan House residency Inclusive Fee Regulation cards, General Council registration, and class cards for varied subjects between 1939-1948 - documents relating to both Owen and Anne Hyslop Gemmell ...
Dates: 1939-1948

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...
Dates: 1947-2007

Material relating to Agnes Waugh, and student outings in the 1930s

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1525
Scope and Contents Ring-binder with notes describing the hike taken by Agnes Waugh, Winifred N. Turner, Katharine M. Martin, Minty Johnstone, Mary Craig, Grace M. Thomson, and Marion Wilson, between Thursday 22 June and Saturday 1 July [1933]. The description of the hike from Edinburgh into Kirriemuir, Angus, and Glen Clova, and then on to Ballater, Braemar, Inverernan, Tomintoul, Aviemore, Inverness, Loch-an-Eilean, and the Lairig Ghru, also contains some black and white photographs. Note-book with...
Dates: 1933-1936

Material relating to Charles A. Anderson

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1240
Scope and Contents The collection comprises an Edinburgh University medal (bronze) awarded to Charles A. Anderson session 1888-1889, for the Senior Surgery class. The medal is mounted in a small case (Alex'r Kirkwood and Son, Medalists, 9 St. James Square, Edinburgh).
Dates: 1888-1889

Material relating to Hugh Marwick

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1272
Scope and Contents At E2010.24 there is an autograph letter signed from Marwick to Professor Bruce Dickins, placed and dated as Alton (Kirkwall), 26 January 1965. The letter was written around 3-4 months before his death and is autobiographical. The content is largely reminiscenses about his time at Edinburgh University. He writes, 'There are now so few of my old-time friends surviving that I feel very lonely [and] to hear from any of them is a rare pleasure. Do you know – of my friends of my Univ. days I don’t...
Dates: 1959-1965

Material relating to James S. Robson

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1293
Scope and Contents The material in the collection is composed of: a list of candidates selected for Rockefeller Medical Studentships, 1942; a letter dated 3 June 1942 from the Universities Bureau of the British Empire indicating that travel arrangements had been made for passage to the USA; a typescript copy of the thesis entitled Fluid retention in patients with chronic liver disease by James S. Robson, M.B., Ch.B. (Hons), and with tables and figures to the thesis; and, a summary of...
Dates: 1945-1950

Material relating to the career of Peter McIntyre, Editor of the Edinburgh University Calendar, and former Clerk to the University Senate

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1318
Scope and Contents The material relating to Peter McIntyre's work with Edinburgh University is composed of the following: a) 3 x letters from Laurence Olivier: 16 June 1964; 5 July 1964; 29 July 1965 b) Pamphlet entitled 'The Robes' by Peter McIntyre c) Pamphlet entitled 'The Old College' by Peter McIntyre d) Notes for a pamphlet on the Old College Statuette (Sir Cowasji...
Dates: 1954-1982

Material relating to the study life of Marion Donaldson Wishart (b. 1903)

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1656
Scope and Contents Two bronze medals - University of Edinburgh:
1927-1928 - Economic Geography - Marion D. Wishart
1928-1929 - Banking - Marion D. Wishart M.A.
Both medals are in presentation cases: black leatherette, with dark blue inset for medals, and silk-lined hinged lids. The name: Alexander Kirkwood & Son / Medalists / St. James Square / Edinburgh
Dates: 1927-1929

Material relating to the University studies of James K. Watson

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1321
Scope and Contents The scrapbook or album (commonplace book) contains class cards, class certificates, notes and other printed matter relating to the study period of James Kenneth Watson at Edinburgh University - covering 1888-91, and subjects such as Chemistry, Practical Chemistry, Anatomy, Practical Anatomy, Anatomical demonstrations, Botany, Natural History, Institutes of Medicine, Practical Physiology, Practical Pathology, Practical Materia Medica, including Pharmacy, Materia Medica, General Pathology,...
Dates: 1885-1896