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Roslin Slide Collection

Identifier: Coll-1434

Scope and Contents

This collection of 3,465 glass positive slides were acquired from the Roslin Institute in November 2009 as part of a larger accession of material. The slides, which range in date from the 1870s to the 1930s, cover a wide range of subjects; photographs of indigenous peoples from around the world, international travel scenes, personal portraits (frequently of figures connected with the natural/veterinary/agricultural sciences), images and portraits of domestic animals (chiefly sheep, poultry, cows and pigs), illustrations and extracts from books, articles and newspapers. The majority of the slides are black and white, although some are hand-coloured or tinted. Many of the slides were produced by T.J. Walls, an optician on Forrest Road, Edinburgh.

It is thought that at least a proportion of the collection was created or collected by James Cossar Ewart as well as Robert Wallace, in their capacities as professors of, respectively, Natural History and Agriculture at the University of Edinburgh, and were probably used for teaching and illustrative purposes. Both Ewart and Wallace appear (separately) in the slides, as do colleagues and other persons known to both or either of the men. While some of the slides appear to be directly associated with Ewart and/or Wallace, it is supposed that a proportion of the collection may have been sent to them by colleagues from around the world. It is not known how the collection ultimately came to reside at the Roslin Institute.


  • Creation: 1870s-1930s


Language of Materials


Physical Description

50 boxes, 3,465 slides 85 x 85mm

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Head of Special Collections.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.


50 boxes

3465 Photographic Slides


As there did not seem to be a formal arrangement to the slides when they were acquired, they have simply been listed in their existing running order in a straight numerical sequence.

Custodial History

Not known.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited in November 2009.


As far as is known, the material has not been appraised.


No further accruals likely.

Existence and Location of Originals

Some of the images are reproductions from publications or copies of original photographs: this has been noted wherever possible.

Existence and Location of Copies

No known copies, although clearly some of the images are reproductions from publications or copies of original photographs.

Related Materials

The papers of James Cossar Ewart can be found at Coll-14 and the papers of Robert Wallace can be found at Coll-87.


No known publications.

Physical Description

50 boxes, 3,465 slides 85 x 85mm


85 x 85mm

Processing Information

Catalogued by Kristy Davis January-June 2013

Roslin Institute/James Cossar Ewart glass plate slide collection
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379