Edinburgh offers an unparalleled combination of resources and expertise for the study of the Scottish past.
Members of all three subject areas in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology have Scottish interests and these scholars are supplemented by academics in other areas of the University, including Celtic and Scottish Studies, Social and Political Sciences, Geography, Education, Divinity and Scottish Literature.
Our historic building combines study spaces with exhibition areas, including collections of documents, many which have been digitised.
- Sir William Fraser Facsimiles of Scottish Charters and Letters Collection
- Falconer Madan Facsimiles
- Residue facsimiles attributed to Sir William Fraser
- Kennedy Papers
We have our own library known as the Student Research Room, which is a large airy space used both for study and to house the School’s book collections, including late antique and medieval history, modern conflict, Scottish history, and economic and social history.
- Scottish History Book Collection
- Brown and Forrest Collection of Late Antique and Medieval History
- Centre for Modern Conflict Book Collection
- Michael Flinn Collection of Economic and Social History
Many of our students are also members of cross-School research groups which aim to stimulate inter-disciplinary, collaborative research, and widen awareness of individual scholarship.
The University Library is one of the largest university libraries in the UK and contains a substantial collection of primary and secondary materials and a vast collection of rare books and manuscripts.
Postgraduate students are welcome to study original objects and have made many important research discoveries while working on the archives. There is an incredible range of material in the collections that is available nowhere else in the world.
Edinburgh’s cobbled streets have been home to some of the most famous figures of our past and present (e.g. Mary Queen of Scots, Adam Smith, Arthur Conan Doyle, JK Rowling) and offer the perfect surroundings in which to pursue your study of Scottish History.
Edinburgh’s rich historical resources and archives feature prominently in our teaching and the History subject area enjoys close ties with various museums and galleries in Edinburgh. Many of our graduate students find these local repositories invaluable, as they mean most MSc students can complete their degrees without the need for extensive research trips.
- National Library of Scotland - one of Britain’s six legal deposit libraries, with a legislative right to acquire a copy of any book published in the United Kingdom.
- National Records of Scotland - the main repository for the records of Scotland’s institutional past. Its extensive collection, based on legal, political and 'ecclesiastical records, is supplemented by gifts and deposits relating to Scottish landed estates, the correspondence of leading political figures and the records of Scottish businesses.
- National Galleries of Scotland
- National Museums Scotland