Edinburgh offers an unparalleled combination of resources and expertise for the study of the past.
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, American, European and Scottish history, and economic and social history.
- Brown and Forrest Collection of Late Antique and Medieval History
- Centre for Modern Conflict
- The Compton Collection of American History
- The Jim McMillan Collection of European History
- Michael Flinn Collection of Economic and Social History
- Scottish History Book Collection
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.
- School research centres - Centre for Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies, Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History, Edinburgh Centre for Global History
- School research groups
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 offers the perfect surroundings in which to pursue your study of 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.
- National Museums Scotland
- National Library of Scotland
- National Records of Scotland
- National Galleries of Scotland
The National Records of Scotland is 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.
The city also boasts the National Museums Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland.