Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies


This page gives an overview of the sources available for the studies of the Medieval and Renaissance period.


Medieval and Renaissance Resources in Edinburgh

Edinburgh contains exceptional resources for study and research in the Medieval and Renaissance periods, from a full programme of Medieval and Renaissance activities, to internationally-renowned collections in museums, libraries and galleries.

Paintings, sculpture and applied art

National Gallery of Scotland

The collections include medieval and renaissance paintings, drawings and prints by artists such as Botticelli, Raphael and Titian.

Queen's Gallery

For exhibitions of works from the Royal Collection, which often include paintings and drawings of the renaissance and early modern period.

National Museum of Scotland

Collection of Scottish and Global applied art and sculpture, including important collections of medieval and renaissance artefacts.


The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh are Unesco World Heritage sites, the Old Town retaining many of its medieval buildings and streets. These include Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Both the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland care for a diverse range of properties, including many that date from the middle ages and renaissance.


The Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments is one of the world's most important collections of this type, including instruments dating back 500 years. There are regular performances of renaissance music by the Edinburgh University Renaissance Singers and the Edinburgh Renaissance Band.

Manuscripts, Archives and Early Printed Books

Edinburgh University library has important manuscript and early printed book collections. The National Library of Scotland is a copyright library, receiving legal deposits since 1710, and also has important collections of medieval and renaissance manuscripts and early printed books. The National Archives of Scotland holds material relating to Scottish history from the 12th century. The Crawford collection at the Royal Observatory has a significant collection of medieval, renaissance and early modern astronomical and astrological texts. The Royal College of Physicians library includes many important early printed books of anatomy (more information on the Ars Anatomica website). The Library of the Royal Botanic Gardens holds collections of early botanical books dating from 1486.