Information Services

Old College Artwork

A project is underway to review and update the collection of artworks on display in the University’s iconic Old College building.

The project aims to address the inclusivity and diversity imbalance within the current portfolio of portraits, busts and other artworks displayed across various spaces. We aim to better reflect the progressive values of the University while respecting our heritage and achievements.


Spaces under review

All public rooms in Old College are being reviewed, including the Playfair Library, Raeburn, Elder, Lee and Carstares rooms, as well as the staircase leading to the Playfair Library and the space under the staircase.



The project is expected to have a two-year lifespan. Phase 1 will begin in January 2024 and will see the removal of four artworks from the space beneath the stairs to the Playfair Library, ready for new suggested pieces to be installed in this space in early spring. The second phase of the project will begin later in the year and will focus on the remaining spaces being reviewed.


Old College has a special place in the history of the University and the hearts of our community. We want to ensure it tells our story in a way that links our past with our future and celebrates the diversity of everyone who has influenced and contributed to the University’s impact over time.

Leigh Chalmers, Chair of the Old College Heritage and Values Project Group


Community engagement

The project is being led by a new internal group, with members including staff and student representatives from across the Students’ Association, Estates, University Collections, Communications and Marketing, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Old College users.  


A key focus of the project will be to engage with staff, students and other members of our University community throughout 2024 to gain views on who we should be celebrating through our artwork and collections in Old College and inform our thinking about how we should update current displays. 


Further information on how to get involved in this project will be made available in due course.