Information Services

Library and University Collections Impact Report 2014/15

In our 'Year of Discovery', find out how Library and University Collections continues to have impact in our four priority areas: Delivering Excellent Services; High Quality Collections; First Rate Engagement; and Attracting External Investment.

Year of Discovery

Year of Discovery

In just five months, we implemented a new cloud hosted library search system, ‘DiscoverEd’; providing our users with unified discovery and 'my account' functionality; which we expect to significantly improve experience in finding and accessing resources:  

We also implemented a new library management platform, Alma, allowing us to streamline the development, description, management and analysis of our collections, supporting the continued massive growth in use of electronic resources. 

Sharing our unique archive collections in the digital age

We are excited to be the first European partner to use and develop our online archive catalogue using ArchivesSpace. In collaboration with the international archives and developer community, we expect to deliver future developments including linking to images of items and connecting to our work on digital preservation.   

Delivering Excellent Services

Delivering Excellent Services
  • Resource Lists@Edinburgh: students from 18 Schools assisted to access core reading materials
  • Over 1,900 individual requests recived from students through our Request a Book service, a 52% annual increase
  • New Past Exam Papers website launched
  • 64% of RCUK-funded journal articles and conference proceedings made Open Access, 19% ahead of target
  • Students and academics supported through Journal Hosting Service, with eleeven Open Access journals published and 73,202 articles downloaded
  • 5,000 University of Edinburgh theses digitised, improving worldwide access to unique resources
  • New self-service scanning facilities introduced in the CRC Wolfson Reading Room

High Quality Collections

High Quality Collections
  • Excellence recognised through award of Arhcive Service Accreditation status to Centre  for Research Collections and Lothian Health Service Archive
  • Acquisition of new special collections including early documents on the Burke and Hare murders, the OneKind animal rights archive and Tessa Ransford’s collection of Scottish poetry
  • Capacity for collections conservation increased thr ough enhanced internship and volunteer programme
  • 150,000 page views since launch of our digital collections portal
  • 22,000 tags harvested from our collaborative crowdsourcing initiatives; making sense of our digitised images

First Rate Engagement

First Rate Engagement
  • Use of Centre for Research Collections increased by 25%, with a 22% rise in use of collections in teaching
  • Eight exhibitions delivered during 2014/15: 12,000 visitors, 250 events, 7,000 participants
  • New audiences reached via educational resources based on UNESCO-recognised LHSA collections
  • Festival of Museums: Inspiring, entertaining and surprising our visitors: twelve events; three days; 1,000 visitors
  • Pop Up Library: Promoting IS services and engaging with library users: 90 sessions; nine weeks; 2,200 participants

Attracting External Investment

  • Total external funding received over the last 3 years has now passed £5 million.
  • With the support of funders, building work has commenced on the redevelopment of St Cecilia’s Hall, home of our world famous collection of historic musical instruments
  • The Library Foundation Fund has reached £1 million following an excellent response to our alumni appeal

Look ahead to 15/16

Given our investment in new discovery infrastructure and the 26% uplift in our materials budget, we are this year in a great position to make the University community and the wider world even more aware of the riches we already hold and to make our collections even better. Our commitment to outreach will continue through our exhibition programme with our Festival 2016 exhibition focussing on the educational pioneer Sir Godfrey Thomson.