Research and Engagement

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 following Scottish Government advice in relation to the opening status of its libraries for staff and students with particular arrangements applying to different locations.  Presently level 4 restrictions are in place and library and study centres are available only for critical needs.  In person browsing and borrowing activities of print materials are currently suspended. 

Services, opening hours and visit protocols should be checked prior to any access on Library Locations webpages for information on library sites. The  status of the main library can be checked remotely Main Library Services and Occupancy . 

The University has launched a new Scan & Deliver Service.    Staff and students at the University of Edinburgh can request digital scans of printed materials held by the Library which would be within limits of one book chapter or 10% (whichever is the greater) of a book, one journal article or one short story or poem or play of not more than ten pages in an anthology.  Requests should be submitted via DiscoverEd

The Centre for Research Collections is currently operating with a remote service model.  The service is focussed on sharing digitized resources with some limited possibilites for real time consultation with visualisers.  Enquiries should be  directed (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.

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.

Information Services – reopening of libraries and study spaces

The latest Information Services Group update is now available, which includes key dates for the reopening of libraries and study spaces.

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).