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Royal Edinburgh Asylum Medical Library

Identifier: GD17

Scope and Contents

Annual Reports of Asylums 1814-1908; General Board of Commissioners in Lunacy and General Board of Control Reports 1851-1939; printed journals and books 1823-1946


  • Creation: 1814-1939

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

The earliest reference to books being borrowed from a specifically medical as opposed to a patients' library at the Royal Edinburgh Asylum occurs in 1855, and it is reasonable to assume that it was founded around that time. This coincides with an increased emphasis placed on clinical teaching by the Asylum's Resident Physician, Dr David Skae (1814-1873). The majority of the library was transferred to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital Library, with remaining items going to Edinburgh University's Department of Psychiatry Library.


56 shelf metres: bound volumes


Chronological within record class

Other Finding Aids

Manual item-level descriptive lists and card index available

Custodial History

Items held within Royal Edinburgh Hospital

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Royal Edinburgh Hospital


No further accessions are expected

Related Materials

Rosslynlee Hospital (LHB33)

Royal Edinburgh Hospital (LHB7)

Royal Medico-Psychological Association, Scottish Division (GD15)

Royal Edinburgh Asylum Medical Library
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Lothian Health Services Archive Repository

Centre for Research Collections
Edinburgh University Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44 (0)131 650 3392