Events and meetings in 2017/18:

Please note that members may bring a friend to the Annual General Meeting talk, but for other events any accompanying friend(s) will be invited to make a donation of £5 to the Friends.


Thursday 29 March 2018


Filled with illustrated school texts, how-to-guides, scientific diagrams, and children’s picture books, How? Why? What? explores the many ways in which drawn and painted images were used to enhance different forms and stages of learning in the mid-20th century.


16 April 2018

From Lagoon to Library – a talk by Dr Laura Moretti, University of St Andrews

Venue: Research Suite, 6th floor Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh

Time: 14:00 – 15:00

During the Renaissance, Venice became one of the most important European centres for book production and trade. Writers, scholars and artists worked there in collaboration with highly specialised artisans and craftsmen to produce refined and perfected editions, often lavishly illustrated. These objects contributed enormously to the knowledge and appreciation of Italian art, architecture and visual culture over time and throughout space. In her talk, Dr Laura Moretti (University of St Andrews) will present some of the most interesting copies of Venetian illustrated books preserved at the University of Edinburgh Library, and will trace some of the paths they took in their travels from the lagoon to the Scottish institution.

If you would like to attend this event it would be helpful if you could RSVP to Kirsty McNab, Edinburgh University Library, email:

This talk is to coincide with the small display ‘Travelling Images: Venetian Illustrated Books’ which will run in the CRC foyer from 13 April-15 August 2018.


Tuesday 24 April 2018

Re-exploring the Laing Collection – a talk by Rachel Hosker, Deputy Head of Special Collections

Time: 15:00 – 16:15

Venue: 6th Floor Seminar Room, CRC, Main Library, George Square

The Laing Collection of manuscripts is one of the most fascinating and rich collections the University of Edinburgh has.  Compiled over the lifetime of David Laing (1793 – 1878), the antiquarian and historian, the collection’s diversity in chronology, subject matter and people make it complex to explore for users, as well as a challenge for the team at the Centre for Research Collections.

Rachel Hosker will explore the collection from this perspective and introduce the projects the CRC are undertaking to tackle them and make it more widely available to a greater audience. Highlights will include amazing finds, further understanding of the collection from a recent exploration, to student projects on medieval manuscripts, automatic handwriting recognition and description, crowdsourcing conservation and knowledgeable volunteers working on sections such as charters.


David Laing by Sir William Fettes Douglas. Scottish National Gallery [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Rachel Hosker is the Archives Manager and Deputy Head of Special Collections with overall responsibility for the Archives Team, from University archives to Scottish Studies and externally funded projects. She has a love of Scottish Palaeography as well as making collections available digitally for reuse and creative works.


Details of  further events during the 2017-2018 season will be posted shortly.


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  • Except where indicated, all images were created by the Digital Imaging Unit, Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Library and are © The University of Edinburgh.