Literatures, Languages & Cultures

A royal visit to the archives

HRH The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, has visited the refurbished School of Scottish Studies Archives. We talk to three students who met the Chancellor during her tour.

In the latest event to mark the relaunch of the School of Scottish Studies Archives (SSSA) after refurbishment, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, has visited the SSSA and the University’s Centre for Research Collections.

During her time in the Archives, accompanied by Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, the Princess Royal met students who use the archive, SSSA and Celtic and Scottish Studies staff, and colleagues from the Centre for Research Collections. She was also treated to a performance of fiddle music by Dr Lori Watson, musician, singer, composer, and Lecturer in Scottish Ethnology.

A dynamic resource

Photo of the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor in the Archives
Lori Watson (right) played the fiddle for the visitors. Image © Neil Hanna.

“The School of Scottish Studies Archives have been a powerful constant throughout my Scottish Ethnology degree” says fourth year student Roseanne Tye “and talking to the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor while working in the Search Room meant that we could demonstrate how this is not a static collection - it is dynamic, every year accruing more meaning and value.”

“Not only do the Archives provide considerable insight into Scottish society, but the incredible opportunity to add to them allows an equality of contribution that you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else; students at every level are encouraged to engage with the collections and to help them grow.”

Rich in quality

Photo of Princess Royal with students
The Chancellor in the Archives with students Lily (seated left) and Roseanne (seated right), and Rachel Hosker, Archives Manager at the University of Edinburgh. Image © Neil Hanna.

“It was a very enjoyable day” says Lily Mellon, a third year Scottish Ethnology student who also met the Chancellor “and fantastic to see such interest and recognition of the archives as they are such an amazing resource.”

“What was so lovely was the swapping of stories, photographs and to see the Chancellor's appreciation of all the material there - which is the reason our archives are so rich in quality. That and the fantastic staff on site.”

Photo of visitors to the School of Scottish Studies Archives
Nathalie (seated) meets the Chancellor

Incredibly varied materials

Scottish Ethnology & Celtic graduate Nathalie Bertaud used the archives throughout her undergraduate degree, and continues to do so while undertaking an MSc in Social Anthropology.

She says “The archives are such a great place to study and do research - the materials are incredibly varied and there is no end to how much we can study them.”

“It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm of the Chancellor for the archives, and to have such a great resource, and the staff who take care of it, in the spotlight for a day.”

Explore the archives

The School of Scottish Studies Archives are located at 29 George Square, Edinburgh. The Search Room is open 10:00-16:00, Tuesday to Friday. No appointment is necessary but, if you wish to discuss your requirements in advance, email or telephone 0131 650 3060.

Find out more about the School of Scottish Studies Archives

Are you interested in studying Scottish Ethnology at Edinburgh?

The only programme of its kind in the world, our four-year undergraduate degree provides a fascinating insight into the traditional and popular culture of Scotland, putting folklore and folklife in a Scottish and international context. We also offer a one year MSc by Research degree and a PhD in the area.

Find out more about studying Scottish Ethnology

Related links

Read our interview with students, past and present, about the School of Scottish Studies Archives