Information Services

Centre for Research Collections

The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) is the main space for anyone using the University of Edinburgh’s cultural and heritage collections.

COVID-19 - Update 8 January 2021

Following the announcement by the Scottish Government of a national lockdown from 5th January 2021, the Centre for Research Collections will be moving to a remote-only service to support essential teaching and research activities. From Monday 11th January 2021: 

  • In-person services at the CRC Reading Room will close. 

  • We will continue to respond to all research enquiries and endeavour to answer as many as possible which can be resolved using digitized resources, data sets, and internal reference material. 

  • We will support the delivery of online teaching with collections, using either digitised content or live delivery with our visualisers. 

  • Where research is absolutely time-critical, we will offer a remote consultation service with a member of staff either offering low-resolution photography or live consultations using our visualisers. 

All enquiries should continue to be directed to Staff will be working from home, and emails will be monitored during working hours 09:00 – 17:00. 

We will restart the physical CRC reading room service as soon as lockdown and public health guidance relaxes. 

Decisions regarding the urgency of research enquiries and requests will be made by the Head and Deputy Head of the Centre for Research Collections. 


Collecting Covid-19 Initiative

View of projection screens above University of Edinburgh Main Library Helpdesk
Staff and students are being asked to share how their lives have changed during Covid-19 outbreak.

Visitor Information

Readers   consulting a manuscript
The Centre for Research Collections is located on the 6th floor of the University of Edinburgh Main Library.

Overview of Collections & Digital Images

The CRC provides access to a diverse range of collections.

Search the Collections

This page provides links to the relevant catalogues for each collection.

David Laing Prize

The Centre for Research Collections in the Main Library is offering a prize of £500 to the student with the best collection of printed books or other written materials.

The Sir Charles Lyell Collection

Sir Charles Lyell
The Charles Lyell Collection

Teaching and Seminar Facilities

a large screen shows a close-up image of a manuscript
Teaching with collections in a hybrid environment.


The CRC provides a broad range of services, supporting teaching with collections, international research and projects.

Digital Scholarship Centre

Engagement, Collaboration, Training

Research Resources

Image of letters written by Lady Grange detailing her kidnapping
A selection of resources relevant for research into the CRC's collections.




CRC on Social Media





See our Social Media page for collection and project specific social media accounts.