About the Friends

“Welcome to the Friends of Edinburgh University Library website. I hope you find not only the information you need but discover something about the wonderful resources we have purchased for Special Collections. Each year we put on several talks and a private visit to a special external Library, and if you would like to be part of this please come along and give us your responses and your ideas. We want the Friends to be an active part of the University Library, and the wider University, as well as a group of people sharing something they enjoy.”   Lady Caplan, President

The Friends was founded in 1962 as a recognised charity. We:

  • act as a channel for gifts of books and manuscripts to enhance the Library’s collections
  • purchase, or contribute to the purchase of rare and valuable items which the Library could not otherwise acquire
  • promote and celebrate the reputation of the Library and its collections

Membership of the Friends is open to anyone who would like to support the work of the Library. Please join us!

Current Friends Committee Members

  • President: Joyce, Lady Caplan 
  • Honorary Secretary: vacant
  • Honorary Treasurer: Mr Richard Battersby
  • Dr Lucinda Byatt
  • Dr Rachel Cadell
  • Professor John Cairns
  • Mrs Louise Gardiner
  • Dr Margaret Mackay

Ex Officio

  • Mr Daryl Green, Head of Special Collections, Centre for Research Collections
  • Mr Gavin McLachlan, Chief Information Officer and Librarian to the University
  • Mr Jeremy Upton, Director of Library and University Collections


  • Professor Lesley McAra, Edinburgh Law School
  • Mr David McClay, Philanthropy Manager, Library & University Collections 
  • Professor Alex Thomson, School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Administrator: Ms Alason Roberts

Editor of The Piper: Mrs Fiona Graham

Website editor: Ms Anne Donnelly

Independent Examiner: Mr Chris Smith


Friends of Edinburgh University Library – Engaging, promoting, collecting since 1962



2 Responses to “About the Friends”
  1. Brian Gordon says:

    Good evening. My name is Brian Gordon I am a second cousin of William Jardine Wallace who died aged 91 in November 2021. He was President of your students Union and a life member for many!years. I have ‘found’ in his collection a poor copy of The New Amphion 1886 if the university is interested in preserving this I would be pleased to donate this on Bills behalf with a request that he is credited with the donation. I may have other items of interest to the union but time is forcing me to dispose of these in the very next few weeks. Thanks for your attention. Brian. I. A. Gordon.

    • Dear Mr Gordon

      First of all, my apologies for the delay in the replying. However, I have now checked with staff in the Library’s Centre for Research Collections and they have informed me that as they already have several copies of New Amphion, they must decline your thoughtful offer.

      With kind regards

      Anne Donnelly
      on behalf of Friends of Edinburgh University Library

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