Alumni Services

Social change and shoulder pads

Student newspaper digitisation project on the hunt for alumni input from the 1980s.

The Student

Were you a University of Edinburgh student in the 1980s? What can you remember about your time here?

Pilot project

The University Library is embarking on a pilot project to digitise copies of ‘The Student’ newspaper, starting with the academic year 1984/1985.

We would be really interested to hear from people who studied or worked at the University during this period.

The digitised papers will be made available in real time on the library blog, starting with the 3 October 1984 edition.

It will be released on 3 October 2014, exactly thirty years after it was first published.

Life in the 1980s

These archived copies offer a fascinating insight into what life was like at the University during the 1980s.

While the pages are dominated by discussions of the key issues of the day, such as the Miners’ Strike of autumn 1984, ‘the Troubles’ in Ireland and the privatisation of state assets, there is still room in the paper for topics more directly relevant to students at the University during this period.

The first issue is a Fresher’s Week special which offers students a light-hearted introduction to the various buildings on campus including Kings Buildings, a distant, exotic, [and] mysterious … land to the south, the Main Library, where students go to …. recover from hangovers and Pollock Halls, a pretty ordinary sort of place.

Social history

There is also a comprehensive review and listing of the best places for students to eat, drink and let their hair down, both on and off campus.

An outline of the capital’s drinking establishments warns unwitting freshers that they could be paying up to 70p for a pint in some of the city’s more expensive locations, while the section on nightclubs recommends old favourites Cinderella Rockerfellas, the Hoochie Coochie club and Coasters Roller Disco.

Do any of these venues conjure up memories of hazy nights and student revelry, or have they failed to identify the student hot spots of the day?


To whet your appetite, have a look at the first four pages of the 3 October 1984 edition.


Your memories

We’d really like to hear from you about your memories of the period and there are lots of ways to get involved.

You can follow the Centre for Research Collections on Facebook or Twitter or contact Digital Curator Gavin Willshaw, who will add you to the project mailing list.

Email Gavin Willshaw and join the mailing list

Centre for Research Collections

Alumni library services