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Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Edinburgh and Lothians

Identifier: GD52

Scope and Contents

Papers collected by Royal National Institute of Blind People, Edinburgh and Lothians, including publications, annual reports, press cuttings, and administrative documents. Also includes the Register of the Outdoor Blind, a record of blind people receiving aid in their own homes between 1903 and 1910.


  • Creation: 1858-2012


  • RNIB (Organization)

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Public access to these records is governed by UK data protection legislation, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, and the current Scottish Government Records Management: NHSCode of Practice (Scotland).

Whilst some records may be accessed freely by researchers, the aforementioned legislation and guidelines mean that records conveying sensitive information on named individuals may be closed to the public for a set time.

Where records relate to named deceased adults, they will be open 75 years after the latest date referenced, on the next 1 January. Records of individuals below 18 years of age or adults not proven to be deceased will be open 100 years after the latest date recorded, on the next 1 January. Further information on legislation and guidelines covering medical records can be found here:

LHSA encourages the use of these records for legitimate clinical, historical and genealogical research purposes, and records that are designated as closed can be consulted by legitimate researchers if certain conditions are met. Please contact the LHSA Archivist for more details regarding procedures on how you can apply for permission to view closed records. Telephone us on: 0131 650 3392 or email us at

Biographical / Historical

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Edinburgh and Lothians began as the Edinburgh Society for Promoting Reading Amongst the Blind in November 1857. By 1863 the Society was covering the areas north of the Forth to Stirling and Fife and as far as Dunbar in the south.

Soon after the start of the twentieth century, the organisation changed its name to the Society for the Welfare and Teaching of the Blind (Edinburgh and South-East Scotland) and from 1930 the Society occupied premises at 4 Coates Crescent, Edinburgh.

In 1995, the Society moved to bigger and more accessible premises at 12-14 Hillside Crescent and its name was changed to Visual Impairment Services South East Scotland. It assumed its present name after a merger with RNIB in 2002.


3 linear metres


GD52, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Edinburgh and Lothians
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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