Information Services

New College Library Archive Collections

Papers of significant individuals or groups connected to New College, the University and the Church of Scotland.

New College Library holds rich and varied archival collections which focus principally on:

  • Papers of significant individuals or groups connected with New College 1843-1930 or Edinburgh University School of Divinity 1930 onwards
  • Papers of significant individuals from the Church of Scotland or Free Church of Scotland 1843-1930
  • Papers of individuals or organisations significant to the religious life of Scotland

These significant archive and manuscript collections contain many early items such as the last speech and testimony of covenanter James Renwick in 1688. Papers of noteworthy individuals include the leader of the 1843 Disruption, Thomas Chalmers, and New College Principals Robert Rainy and Alexander Whyte. Twentieth century collections include the papers of J.S. Oldham, Tom Allan and John McIntyre, recording for posterity their contribution to the religious life of Scotland and beyond.

Catalogues of the archives are available as PDFs through the University’s Archives Online website. Paper catalogues are also available in New College Library.

Archives Online

A selection of our collections are already listed online through Archives Hub and the National Register of Archives:

Archives Hub

Student records

The archives for New College itself include class photographs, student magazines and information relating to student societies. Information on the records available can be found using the Archives Online website. It is not possible to search Archives Online by name of student. Enquirers must visit the library to research the collection themselves. A database of brief information about New College students 1843-1943 is available through the Historical Alumni pages. Note that this service is still under development.

We do not hold transcripts of students’ academic records. For more information about all student records, contact the Centre for Research Collections.

We regret that New College Library is unable to provide any contact information for current or former students.

Historical Alumni

Church records and family records

Kirk session, presbytery and synod records for the Church of Scotland, Free Church and other denominations are usually held by the National Records of Scotland (NRS). Some records are not held physically at the NRS but in local archives under the charge and superintendence of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland although many of the key sources are available digitally both at the NRS and local archives. The records of Church of Scotland baptisms, marriages and burials are also held by NRS and many are available through the ScotlandsPeople website.

National Records of Scotland

Scotlands People


Centre for the Study of World Christianity

The Centre for the Study of World Christianity Archives are held at the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ. The collections include the papers of missionaries, missionary organisations and extensive runs of nineteenth and twentieth century mission periodicals and journals, some of which are very rare.

  • Latin Link (formerly Evangelical Union of South America) (ref. CSWC51)

  • The Regions Beyond Missionary Union (ref. CSWC33)

  • Some Church of Scotland Foreign Mission records, including audio-visual material (refs. CSWC40, CSWC41, CSWC42 and CSWC47)

  • Papers of Isabel Fleming and Jessie Service (ref. CSWC7)

  • Papers of Myra Carpenter (ref. CSWC 18)

  • Papers of Adrian Hastings (ref. CSWC36)

  • Papers of Tom Colvin (ref. CSWC39)

For all enquiries contact