Research and Knowledge Exchange

Data and Digital Resources

Links to key areas of the University that can support you with data resources.


Libraries  - General and Special Collections

The University is in a phased reopening of its libraries for staff and students with particular arrangements applying to different locations.  Services, opening hours and visit protocols should be checked prior to any access on Library Locations webpages for information on library sites.

Browsing and borrowing are possible in most libraries.  However although print collections are available in most libraries, walk-up access will be limited according to occupancy levels.  The  status of the main library can be checked remotely Main Library Services and Occupancy . 

There are also particular changes to some borrowing practices.  Inter-site lending at Edinburgh has not yet resumed.  Reserve collection facilities have been adapted to ensure appropriate extended intervals for items circulating between borrowers.  The library is also managing a phased introduction of inter-library loans of physical books to complement interlibrary digital loans.  Updates on the ILL service are provided on their website.

The Centre for Research Collections is currently operating with a different service model.  Access is by advance appointment only  and requests should be directed to (or for Lothian Health Services Archive).  Priority will be given to University of Edinburgh staff or students.  Further information on exact provision and visit requirements can be found on Centre for Research Collections Webpages.

Other creative options are being  explored by Libraries such as a virtual reading room, one-to-one virtual curatorial consultations and solutions for hybrid teaching with cultural heritage collections. Further updates will be available when these initiatives more forward.

Staff and students can keep track of information on the response of Library & University Collections services to COVID-19  through  the dedicated COVID19 Library Updates.


On-line Library Resources

Humanities researchers may find the library's subject guides of value in identifying collections of interest, or may wish to explore the many cultural heritage collections online (Mia Ridge of the British Library provides a search portal in a useful blog post), and make use of online archives. This post gives a sense of the kinds of data held by, for example, the Internet Archive.   

On-line Newspapers

For regional studies, newspapers are often available online. For example, colleagues working in South Asia have found The Scroll India useful, as well as indigenous newspapers such as The Morung Express. There may also be specialised archives relevant to specific fields, such as for example, The Naga Database  and  Digital Himalaya.

Secondary Datasets

The Centre for Data, Culture & Society provides information on accessing data sets and resources and sharing data, which you can find on its data pages.

For secondary quantitative data sources for social sciences, try Open ICPSR.  There are also key social science data sets listed in the SPS Research Training Centre: Research Methods Resources (UoE only, access via Learn).