Events Archive

Private view invitation

Visit to St Cecilia’s Concert Room and Music Museum, Niddry Street, Edinburgh

25th September, 2017 at 14:00

Friends of Edinburgh University Library members are warmly invited to attend a private visit to the recently refurbished St Cecilia’s Concert Room and Music Museum.

Edinburgh_St_Cecilia's_Hall copy

After ten years of development, five years of fund-raising and nearly three years of restoration, St Cecilia’s reopened on May 11th this year.  Originally opened in 1763, St Cecilia’s Hall is the oldest purpose-built concert hall in Scotland.  It is the only place in the world where it is possible to hear eighteenth century music in an eighteenth century concert hall played on eighteenth century instruments.  Owned by the University of Edinburgh, it contains one of the world’s most important collections of historic musical instruments, many of which remain playable in a concert setting.

The new St Cecilia’s Hall museum brings this collection under one roof, allowing the story of the collection as a whole to be presented and enabling visitors to engage with the objects and their stories.  The elegant oval concert hall on the first floor of the building has been in continuous use since it opened in the eighteenth century and remains at the heart of the Georgian building, but is now complemented by four galleries on both ground and first floor.

The visit will be led by Sarah Deters, of the Museum staff.  We shall also the privilege of hearing some music on the instruments on display.

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Highlands to Hindustan Exhibition Preview – Indian Art from University of Edinburgh Collections

Preview invitation

We are delighted to invite Friends to attend the evening preview of the Centre for Research Collections Edinburgh Festival Fringe exhibition: ‘Highlands to Hindustan: Indian Art from University of Edinburgh Collections’.

The preview will begin at 5:30pm, with speeches at about 5:45pm, on Thursday 27 July, in the Exhibition Gallery, Ground floor, University of Edinburgh Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ.

Marking the UK-India year of culture, this is the first ever exhibition of University collections devoted to Indian art. Featuring 50 objects, the exhibition reveals their rich artistic legacy, whilst also uncovering their journey to the University of Edinburgh. Produced over two millennia, the artworks in the exhibition showcase the Indian subcontinent’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.

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Thursday 1st June, 2017

Behind the scenes at the National Museums: Visit to the National Museums Collection Centre, Granton

Time: 14:00-16:30 (we will gather at 13:45 for the visit starting at 14:00).  

Venue: National Museums Collection Centre, 242 West Granton Road, EH5 1JA. 

The National Museums Collection Centre at Granton, Edinburgh, provides a home for many of the objects and specimens that are not currently on display in the National museums. In fact, the collections are so extensive, that only a small proportion can ever be shown at once.

From butterflies to dinosaur bones, motorbikes to traction engines – the material gathered at the Centre is as diverse as it is vast. The stored material enable staff of the Museums to refresh exhibitions and study subjects in depth.

The Collection Centre has facilities for undertaking research on collections, as well as conservation and scientific research laboratories.

In conjunction with the redevelopment of the National Museum of Scotland two new buildings were built at Granton, providing state-of-the-art conservation laboratories and enhanced storage for the national collections.  This is our chance to see behind the scenes at these purpose-built adjuncts to the Museum collections.

For more information on the facility, including location, see: http://nms.ac.uk/collections-research/research-facilities/national-museums-collection-centre/ 

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Wednesday 15th February 2017

The Cleghorn Collection – a talk by Dr Henry Noltie, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Venue: The Research Suite, 6th Floor, Centre for Research Collections, Main Library, George Square.

Time: 15:00-16:30

cleghorn1_1024x1024

Dr Noltie will talk about the botanical and forestry books and paintings in Edinburgh University Library’s Hugh Cleghorn Collection, and examples will be on display. The fascinating story of Cleghorn  (1820-1895) and his collections has been pieced together over the last 20 years, from widely scattered sources in both Britain and India. The findings were recently published in two books by Dr Noltie: a biography of Cleghorn – Indian Forester, Scottish Laird – and a book on the outstanding drawings that Cleghorn commissioned in India:  The Cleghorn Collection. These will also be on display.

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Wednesday 16th November 2016

Annual General Meeting and Talk on the Steinbeck Collection

Venue: Fifth Floor Seminar Room, Main Library. (If you are unsure of how to find the 5th Floor Seminar Room, please report to Reception at the entry and you will be directed there).
Time: 15:00-17:00

Refreshments will be served.

It’s that time of year again! You are warmly invited to this year’s Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Edinburgh University Library.

Trustees’ Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 July 2016foeul2016 [pdf]

Following the AGM Dr Keith Hughes, lecturer in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, University of Edinburgh, will introduce Steinbeck’s life and work, making reference to the relevant special collections in our Library with some examples of items held.

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Tuesday 25th October, 2016

Geographies of Travel and of Publication: Mungo Park, the Niger, and Late Enlightenment Exploration – a talk by Professor Charles W J Withers FBA FRSE

Time: 15:00

Venue: Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Hope Park Square, Edinburgh (http://www.iash.ed.ac.uk/about/contact-us/

MungoPark

This illustrated talk will examine the exploration of the River Niger by the Scottish explorer Mungo Park (1771-1806). Attention will be paid to his two ‘expeditions’ to the Niger and the two books arising from them, the first, Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa, published in 1799, the second, published posthumously in 1815. Understanding Park’s ‘authorship’ requires that we recognise the context to his works and words: his own admission of incompleteness, the authority of others, and competing theories over the Niger.

Professor Charles W J Withers, Ogilvie Professor of Geography at the University of Edinburgh, is renowned for his work in the historical geography of science; geography, travel and exploration; geography and the Enlightenment; and the histories of cartography. In 2015, he was appointed Geographer Royal for Scotland.

Professor Withers has kindly agreed to repeat this talk, since many Friends couldn’t attend the presentation at the National Library of Scotland earlier this year. _____________________________________

‘Godfrey Thomson: The man who tested Scotland’s IQ’.

Time: 5:30pm on Thursday 28 July, 2016

Venue: Exhibition Gallery, ground floor, University of Edinburgh Main Library, EH8 9LJ.

The exhibition will tell the story of Sir Godfrey Thomson (1881–1955), Professor of Education at the University of Edinburgh from 1925 to 1951. In his day, Thomson was internationally famous. He was an important theorist of intelligence, a massive-scale producer of IQ tests, and a pioneer in statistical methods. He oversaw Scotland’s ground-breaking Mental Surveys, collecting data on the intelligence of almost every 11 year old child in Scotland in 1932, and again in 1947.

Thomson

 

In recent years, Thomson had all but disappeared from memory, with few documents remaining of his life and work. However, this all changed in 2008 when Thomson’s personal papers were rescued from his former home prior to its demolition. In 2012 the University received funding from the Wellcome Trust to undertake the cataloguing and conservation of this unique archival collection. Highlights from the collection will be on show, complemented by the ledgers of both Scottish Mental Surveys, on loan from the University of Glasgow.

Friends are always warmly invited to Library exhibition openings, which are interesting and convivial. Please do come along and join in if you can.

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Summer visit to Queen Margaret University Library, Edinburgh

Date: Friday 10 June 2016

Time: Those who have a confirmed place (see below) should meet at the ground floor Reception at 14:00. 

QMU-photo

Friends will see a display of fascinating special collections objects relating to the history of the University from its inception in 1875, and there will be a tour of the Library building. Refreshments will be provided.

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Exhibition: ‘Brown Paper and Imagination: Revealing the Edinburgh College of Art Revel’

Venue: Exhibition Gallery, ground floor, University of Edinburgh Main Library

Opening times: Runs until 2 July 2016 and is open 10-5pm Monday – Saturday. Admission is free.

Revel_Capture

This exhibition celebrates the story of the Edinburgh College of Art ‘Revel’, a yearly creative extravaganza that has been at the heart of ECA since 1909. Historic films and archives will accompany a narrative from student handbooks and newspapers, guiding you through the creation of the event to the night of the party itself. Witness the explosion of colour, fun and humour that makes the Revel!

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Thursday 28 April 2016 (not 18 April as previously advertised)

‘Geographies of Travel and of Publication: Mungo Park, the Niger,  and Late Enlightenment Exploration’ – A talk by Professor Charles Withers, Ogilvie Chair of Geography, University of Edinburgh, and Geographer Royal for Scotland.

Venue: Events Hall, National Library of Scotland. (This is a partnership event with the National Library of Scotland and is open to all).

Time: 18:00

This illustrated talk will examine the exploration of  the River Niger by the Scottish explorer Mungo Park (1771-1806).  Attention will be paid to his two ‘expeditions’ to the Niger and the two  books arising from them, the first, Travels in the Interior Districts  of Africa, published in 1799, and the second, published posthumously in  1815.

MungoPark

Understanding Park’s ‘authorship’ requires that we recognise the  context to his works and words: his own admission of incompleteness, the  authority of others, and competing theories over the Niger.

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Thursday 31 March 2016

Invitation to Exhibition Preview: ‘Brown Paper and Imagination: Revealing the Edinburgh College of Art Revel’

Venue: Exhibition Gallery, ground floor, University of Edinburgh Main Library

Time:  5:30pm

Friends are invited to attend the evening preview of the Library’s Spring exhibition: ‘Brown Paper and Imagination: Revealing the Edinburgh College of Art Revel’.

Revel_Capture

This exhibition celebrates the story of the Edinburgh College of Art ‘Revel’, a yearly creative extravaganza that has been at the heart of ECA since 1909. Historic films and archives will accompany a narrative from student handbooks and newspapers, guiding you through the creation of the event to the night of the party itself. Witness the explosion of colour, fun and humour that makes the Revel!

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Tuesday 1st March, 2016

A Talk by Dr Elizabeth Cumming: From Edinburgh to Paris: the Book Art of Phoebe Anna Traquair.

Venue: 6th Floor Research Suite, CRC, Main Library

Time: 15:00

Phoebe Anna Traquair HRSA (1852-1936) was Edinburgh’s leading artist of the Arts & Crafts Movement. Her major decorative murals in Edinburgh include the Song School at St Mary’s Cathedral and the Mansfield Place Church, now the Mansfield Traquair Centre. However, from an early age she was equally dedicated to book art, and produced some of the finest British late nineteenth-century illuminated manuscripts and embossed book covers. Produced in Edinburgh’s Dean Studio, such work was showcased not only in Britain but in international exhibitions across the world.

phoebe

In this talk Dr Elizabeth Cumming, an honorary Fellow in the History of Art at the University, will introduce Traquair’s choice of texts from the Bible to Blake, Tennyson, Rossetti and the Brownings and illustrate how these were interpreted into highly imaginative and, in the case of manuscripts, richly coloured images. Among the books to be discussed will be the important 1898 binding of The Psalms of David, recently acquired by the University with the generous assistance of the Friends and the London branch of the Graduates Association, and her 1897 ‘Creation’ manuscript in the same collection.

Please RSVP to a.roberts@ed.ac.uk or in writing to Alason Roberts; Friends of Edinburgh University Library, Edinburgh University Library, George Sq., Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ

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NEW EXHIBITION: Visual Dissection – The Art of Anatomy

4 December 2015 to 5 March 2016

Exhibition Gallery, Main Library, George Square, EH8 9LJ

Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.  Admission is free.

This exhibition gives a rare opportunity to view unique artifacts that have never been on public display.

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Just one of the many fascinating artifacts on display in this unique exhibition.

This exhibition of human and animal anatomy charts four centuries of medical endeavour. It includes woodcuts and engravings from the 17th century, Victorian wax and papier mâché models and exhibits that use the digital technologies of today. Also included in the display is a wax moulding of two hands taken from a patient at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, a cast of the internal anatomy of the human head and a set of models showing the development of a rabbit’s heart. The world’s largest three dimensional anatomical hologram and a colourful knitted representation of the human circulatory system are also on show.

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3 December 2015

New Exhibition Reception:

Invitation to Dissection exhibition

Visitors will have an extremely rare opportunity to see a range of collections from the University’s Anatomical Museum, some of which have never been on display to the public before. The exhibition will tell the story of how anatomical representation of the body has changed over the years, taking you on a journey from the woodcuts and engravings of the 17th and 18th centuries, to the wax and papier mâché models of the 19th and 20th centuries, and then on to the digital technologies of today. 

If you wish to attend please reply (RSVP) to Claudia.Delapena@ed.ac.uk by Wednesday 25 November.

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18th November 2015

Annual General Meeting

and talk “America in Edinburgh: The frontiers of Edinburgh are global”.

15:00 in the 5th floor Seminar Room, Main Library, George Square. (On arrival, please report to Library Reception and you will be directed to the 5th Floor Seminar Room).

After the AGM Owen Dudley Edwards, former Reader in Commonwealth and American History, University of Edinburgh, will talk on the American collections held in the Library.  This presentation will add a further dimension to the article “Americana in EUL Special Collections” which appeared in the most recent issue of The Piper, no. 44 (Autumn 2015).

Refreshments will be served.  The meeting will end by 17:00.

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Tuesday 20th October 2015

The Oldest Chinese Book and the East Asian Collections

A talk by Dr Shenxiao Tong, East Asian Studies Librarian

15:00 in the 5th floor Seminar Room, Main Library, George Square

chinese book

Chinese books began to be collected by European libraries through Jesuits and merchants from the late sixteenth century.  The earliest Chinese accession in the University Library collections, acquired through donation in 1628, was a volume containing parts of a book called Zhouyi zhuanyi Daquan, published in China in 1440.  It turns out to be the earliest printed book in the collections, and probably also represents an even earlier Chinese publication than any of those collected elsewhere in university libraries in the UK.  For a long time the book lay in obscurity until its ‘rediscovery’ in a Library exhibition catalogue in the 1960s, at the time when the University’s Chinese Department was first established.

This talk aims to supply some additional information to Dr Stephen McDowall’s fascinating paper on this iconic item, and also to expand the topic to introduce the history of the Chinese collection in general, the only such collection in Scotland.

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Exhibition Preview – ‘Towards Dolly: A Century of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh’

Thursday 30 July, 5.30pm

Exhibition Gallery, ground floor, University of Edinburgh Main Library

Towards Dolly private view

We are delighted to invite Friends to attend the evening preview of the Fringe Festival exhibition: ‘Towards Dolly: A Century of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh’.

Featuring Dolly the sheep, on loan from National Museums Scotland alongside unique material from the University’s collections, this exhibition celebrates the individuals and institutions who made, and continue to make, extraordinary advances in animal and human health. It will take you on a journey ‘Towards Dolly’ and beyond.

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 ‘…Something Blue’, the spring exhibition at the Main Library Exhibition Gallery

3 April – 27 June 2015

SomethingBlue

Venue: Exhibition Gallery, Ground Floor, Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh
Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm; Saturday 10am – 1pm.

From blue stockings and opals to lullabies and rhapsodies, this display brings together a selection of exhibits from the breadth of the University’s collections under the multi-layered symbolism of the colour blue.

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14:00 Friday 19th June, 2015

The Horst Drescher collection

5th Floor Seminar Room, Main Library, George Square

Collection: University of Edinburgh; Persons: Campbell, Ian ; Event: Horst Drescher Talk ; Place: Main Library; The University of Edinburgh; Category: University Events; Description: Ian Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Scottish and Victorian Literature delivering a talk about the Horst Drescher Collection for the Friends, in the seminar room of the Centre for Research Collections, June 2015

Ian Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Scottish and Victorian Literature delivering a talk about the Horst Drescher Collection for the Friends, in the seminar room of the Centre for Research Collections, June 2015

Friends of Edinburgh University Library are cordially invited to a special talk on the Horst Drescher collection, now in the Centre for Research Collections, to be given by Professor Ian Campbell.

Horst W. Drescher was a distinguished German teacher of English and Scottish literature, and professor at the University of Mainz at Germersheim where he founded the Scottish Studies Centre and built a fine library of Scottish texts for teaching and scholarship.  His interests in Scottish eighteenth century literature took him frequently to Edinburgh, and he was conspicuously a return visitor to the Institute of Advanced Studies at a time when few people managed more than one visit.

His scholarship encompassed a great deal of editing, and Henry Mackenzie’s work was his main focus.  He also found time (in addition to a heavy teaching load) to grow the Scottish Studies Centre, organise many international events (including a memorable Carlyle conference in 1981), and found the Scottish Studies Newsletter which still appears today and is a valuable compendium of work in progress and recently published scholarship round the world.

At home he built up a superb collection of Scottish texts of the twentieth century, but his chief pride was the library of calf-bound texts of the Enlightenment period, meticulously shelved and cleaned every year.  The generosity of Frau Christel Drescher means that the cream of that collection has come to join the Library special collections, in the Centre for Research Collections, where on June 19 there will be an opportunity to see not only some of these volumes but also some of the University’s existing holdings which are related to them.

This is an exclusive event for the Friends, to celebrate this valuable collection and related holdings. 

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Wednesday May 20th, 2015
Guided tour of the new Noreen and Kenneth Murray Library, King’s Buildings.

Time: 14:00
Please meet in the ground floor Foyer of the Murray Library. The Library is in the centre of the King’s Buildings campus. A useful map is provided here [pdf].

As numbers are limited please book by email: a.roberts@ed.ac.uk, or in writing to Alason Roberts, Edinburgh University Library, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ.

The Noreen and Kenneth Murray Library holds the University’s principal printed book collections in biology, chemistry, engineering, geosciences, mathematics, physics and statistics as well as the Edinburgh Mathematical Society’s book collection. The tour will be conducted by Deputy Director of User Services Division, Richard Battersby.

Light refreshments will be available from 14:00!

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Thursday 02 April 2015

Exhibition opening:

SomethingBlue

Venue: Exhibition Gallery, Ground Floor, Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh
Time: 5:30pm

We would be delighted if Friends can join us to formally open the doors to ‘…Something Blue’, the spring exhibition at the Main Library Exhibition Gallery.

From blue stockings and opals to lullabies and rhapsodies, this display brings together a selection of exhibits from the breadth of the University’s collections under the multi-layered symbolism of the colour blue.

Light refreshments will be served.

In the spirit of the exhibition, we would invite you to wear something blue! We look forward to seeing you there.

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Emma Gillies: Rediscovered

This new exhibition is free and open to the public.
Dates: 5 December 2014 to 7 March 2015
Times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.
Venue: University of Edinburgh Main Library Exhibition Gallery, George Square

Emma Gillies Exhibition graphic

Emma Gillies (1900-1936) was the younger sister of the painter, William Gillies. A highly talented potter, she studied at Edinburgh College of Art. For further information on the exhibition please click here.

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Thursday February 19th, 2015
Talk and visit to the Digital Imaging Unit, and viewing of Robert Barker’s Panorama of Edinburgh (1792)

The Digital Imaging Unit is the photography department for the Centre for Research Collections (CRC). Every week beautiful and fascinating books, manuscripts and objects pass through the department for digitisation. In this special viewing, the DIU photographers, Susan Pettigrew & Malcolm Brown, welcome Friends to the department. They will be demonstrating some of their equipment and techniques and showing off some of the beautiful images that are created. If you would like to learn more, the DIU blog gives a fascinating insight into their work (http://libraryblogs.is.ed.ac.uk/diu/about-us/).

The Panorama flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries as a means to create ‘immersive’ images of a place. Barker began his work in Edinburgh, going on to create images of other cities. Friends are invited to view Barker’s Edinburgh panorama, a fascinating historical snapshot of Old Edinburgh. CRC staff will be on hand to introduce and explain this intriguing object.

Robert Barker, Panorama of Edinburgh (detail), 1792.

Robert Barker, Panorama of Edinburgh (detail), 1792.

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Thursday 04 December 2014
Emma Gillies: Rediscovered

Time: 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Venue: University of Edinburgh Main Library Exhibition Gallery, George Square

Friends are warmly invited to the reception and opening of University Collections’ winter exhibition.

Emma Gillies (1900-1936) was the younger sister of the painter, William Gillies. A highly talented potter, she studied at Edinburgh College of Art. For further information on the exhibition please click here

The exhibition is free and open to the public from 5 December 2014 to 7 March 2015, Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.

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Tuesday 25th November, at 16:00
Annual General Meeting

Senate Room, New College, The Mound

FOEUL Annual Report 2014 [pdf]

Followed (at 16:30) by:
Presentation on the New College collections from Christine Love-Rogers

Founded in 1843 as the library of the Free Church College, New College Library now serves the University’s School of Divinity. It is one of the largest theology libraries in the UK, with over a quarter of a million items. As well as incunabula, early Bibles, and early Pamphlet collections, its large and rich special collections include the papers of Thomas Chalmers, J.H. Oldham and James S. Stewart.

Dr Alison Jack and Christine Love-Rodgers will be highlighting some of these special collections for the Friends. A selection of New College Special Collections items will be on display in the Funk Reading Room of New College Library, 15:00-1600.

For those interested in learning more about New College Library, the AGM will be preceded by an optional short tour of New College Library starting at 15:00. Refreshments will be served.

As happened last year, Christmas cards will be available for purchase at the AGM or by contacting the Friends’ administrator, Alason Roberts, email: A.Roberts@ed.ac.uk or mail: Alason Roberts, Administrator, FoEUL, Edinburgh University Library, George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LJ.

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October 7th, 2014
Visit to the Edinburgh College of Art Library, including a talk by Jane Furness on the fine collection of artists’ books.
Venue: Evolution House, on the corner of Lady Lawson Street and West Port, Edinburgh.
Time: 17:30. There is an optional tour at 16:30 (just before the presentation) of the College of Art Library itself.

N.B. Places are limited, so please let Alason Roberts (email: A.Roberts@ed.ac.uk) know as soon as possible if you wish to attend the presentation, indicating if you would like to join the tour as well.

Light refreshments will be available.

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rashid_exhibition_banner

All Friends were warmly invited to attend the official opening of the Rashid Al-Din exhibition in the Main Library Forum on Friday August 1st from 17:30-19:30.

The Jami’ al-Tawarikh (or “World History”) of Rashid al-Din is one of the most important illustrated medieval manuscripts to have survived from either East or West. The manuscript is one of the greatest treasures of Edinburgh University Library.

Datable to 1314, it was produced in the city of Tabriz, a seat of power of the Ilkhanid rulers, descendants of the Mongol Chingiz Khan, who held sway over an empire encompassing Persia and large parts of present-day Azerbaijan and Turkey.

This exhibition offers a unique chance to view folios of the original manuscript, complemented by loans relating to the material culture of fourteenth-century Iran from the National Museum of Scotland.

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June 19th 2014
Visit to the newly refurbished Edinburgh and Scottish Collections in the Edinburgh Central Library on George IV Bridge. 2.00pm.
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Fifty Years, Fifty Books: purchases by the Friends of Edinburgh University Library, 1962-2012
Exhibition Gallery, Main Library, George Square
28 March to 14 June 2014
Monday to Saturday, 10:00 to 17:00.
Free Admission. Members of the Public are very welcome.

This exhibition celebrates the continued support of the Friends, showcasing acquisitions from the foundation of the Friends in 1962, up to the present day. Exhibits range from early editions of English drama and modern Scottish literary papers, to beautiful illustrated ‘Birds of the Pacific Slope’ and facsimiles of medieval manuscripts.

“I am very impressed by the quality of the current ‘Friends Purchases’ exhibition.
Please do pass on my thanks and appreciation to those who set it up.”

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea
Principal & Vice-Chancellor

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Private view invitation
Thursday 27th March, 18:00
Exhibition Gallery, Main Library, George Square
All members of the Friends are welcome to attend.

Fifty Years, Fifty Books: purchases by the Friends of Edinburgh University Library, 1962-2012

Members of the Friends of Edinburgh University Library are warmly invited to attend the private view of the exhibition which celebrates the continued support of the Friends, showcasing acquisitions from the foundation of the Friends in 1962, up to the present day.

Exhibits range from early editions of English drama and modern Scottish literary papers, to beautiful illustrated ‘Birds of the Pacific Slope’ and facsimiles of medieval manuscripts.

A flyer is available here: FoEUL private view invitation March 2014 2 [docx]

The exhibition is open to the public from 28 March to 14 June 2014.

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Wednesday 12 March 2014
Venue: 5th floor seminar room, Main Library, George Square
Time: 15:30-17:30

Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), followed by a Talk:

The EGM will have a single agenda item: to consider a new Constitution of the Friends (see below).

Grant Buttars, Deputy University Archivist, will then talk on Over 400 years of human achievement: the University of Edinburgh as seen through its archives.

‘I will look at a selection of material from our archives to show snapshots of University life and activity since its foundation. There is no grand narrative, as this story is not complete, but instead a focus on the specific as a means of highlighting the diversity and complexity of these collections, together with something about why we have some of them as well as some of the purposes to which they get put’.

Additional details of the EGM are available here: FoEUL flyer for EGM March 2014 [docx]

The new Constitution is available here: FoEUL final draft Constitution [docx]

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Collect.Ed: Curiosities from the University’s collections
A new exhibition that is open to the public from 6th December 2013 until 1st March 2014.
Main Library Exhibition Gallery, Monday – Friday 10:00 – 17:00, Saturday 10:00 – 13:00.

Shells from Charles Lyell's collection

Shells from Charles Lyell’s collection, Geology Museum, University of Edinburgh

For thousands of years the obscure and unfamiliar has remained a source of inquiry. Early collecting focused on the unclassified and unique, aiming to impress and enlighten. This student-curated exhibition will bring together the unexpected and will showcase the rare and remarkable highlights from the University’s Collections.
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Annual General Meeting
Tuesday 19th November, 2013 at 16:00
Room 1:07, Main Library, George Square.

Agenda – AGM – 2013 [.doc]
Minutes of the FoEUL AGM – 26 Nov 2012 [.doc]

Followed (at 16:30) by a talk from Lindsay Levy:

“The Great Unknown Cataloguer”

“The Great Unknown Cataloguer”, George Huntly Gordon, the son of Major Pryse Lockhart Gordon, was Sir Walter Scott’s nearly-deaf amanuensis and protégé. Gordon was the first cataloguer of Scott’s library, and the man who wrote, but was never credited for, the 1838 catalogue. Working from notebooks of Scott’s discovered at Abbotsford House in the last five years, Lindsay Levy was able to put together a picture of how this first catalogue was created. The talk will also explore Scott’s own unrecognised skills as a bibliographer.

The contents of Sir Walter Scott’s library at Abbotsford were donated to the Faculty of Advocates through a deed of entail executed in 1839. Starting in 2003, a full cataloguing and conservation project was undertaken by the Faculty to preserve this wonderful collection. The completion of the online cataloguing of the 9,000 volume library took 10 years and marked the culmination a marathon task for Lindsay Levy, the Faculty’s former Rare Books Cataloguer.

AGM and talk Flyer – Nov 2013 [.doc]

Refreshments were provided.

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Wednesday 23rd October 2013, 4.00-5.30pm
Main Library, 5th floor seminar room

Dr Joe Marshall and Elizabeth Quarmby Lawrence will speak on: “The Edinburgh College of Art Rare Books Collection”.

Edinburgh College of Art, which merged with the University of Edinburgh in 2011, built up a rich collection of rare and important books and other paper items. These include magnificent architectural books, unique hand-painted shawl designs, textile samples, private press books and fine bindings. All of the books have relevance to the College’s traditions of teaching art and design. The collection was transferred to the Centre for Research Collections (CRC) at the University’s Main Library in November 2011. The books are now catalogued and kept in climate-controlled secure strongrooms where they will be protected and preserved.

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Friends are warmly invited to the reception and opening of our Fringe Festival exhibition ‘Edinburgh 300: Cradle of Chemistry’ at the Main Library Exhibition Gallery (George Square) on Thursday 1st of August 2013 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

The exhibition will focus on three key themes to illustrate the contribution the School has made to Chemistry: Cradle of Chemistry (how Edinburgh has shaped the world), Chemistry and Economy (how Chemistry has contributed to economy and policy), Chemistry and Discovery (significant discoveries and achievements). Highlights will include Joseph Black’s balance (Black was the first to employ the analytical balance in chemical investigations) and Alexander Crum Brown’s first model of sodium chloride, made with knitting needles and balls of wool!

Opening of the exhibition

Opening evening of the exhibition

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Wednesday 26 June 2013, 2.30-4.30pm
Visit to The Lady Smith of Kelvin Veterinary Library, Easter Bush
(Please go to Reception at the Royal (DICK) School of Veterinary Studies on your arrival).
William Dick established his own Veterinary School in 1818 and in 1906 in memory of William the University named its own Veterinary College the Royal (DICK) Veterinary College which houses the newly refurbished Lady Smith of Kelvin Veterinary Library. Planning for the Teaching building started in 2003 when it was realised that in order to provide students with a quality learning experience the previous Summerhall/Easter Bush split was no longer sustainable. The Teaching Building was designed by BDG McColl Architects in July 2005 and completed in January 2011. The first floor houses in Library while the ground floor presents an attractive catering area, plus teaching facilities. The building can accommodate up to 950 students and 200 staff. The Library itself is 332m sq. and boasts 750 linear metres of shelving. There are 99 study spaces, plus 5 study rooms.

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Tuesday 23 April 2013, 4.00-5.30pm 5th Floor Seminar Room, Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh Gordon Wright will speak on “A career in publishing and photography – The Gordon Wright Archive at the University Library”. For more on this important archive, purchased with a grant from the Friends, please see Recent Purchases.

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Thursday 4 April 2013, 6.00-8.00pm
Masterpieces III
Exhibition Gallery, Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh
Members are invited to the reception and opening of the spring exhibition.
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Masterpieces is a series of exhibitions which showcase the treasures held by the University’s libraries, museums, archives and galleries. This is the third and final exhibition in the series, in which the definition of a ‘masterpiece’ is pushed to its limits. Focusing on the overall theme of science and medicine, chosen items reflect the themes of ‘science as innovation’, ‘science as art’, and ‘science as statement’.

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City of Words: Writers, Readers and Critics in Edinburgh. 3rd August – 27th October 2012

The University opened its exhibition ‘City of Words: Writers, Readers and Critics in Edinburgh’ on 3rd August 2012. The exhibition tells the fascinating story of how the writing, reading and criticism of literature have been entwined in Edinburgh over the past 250 years. The exhibition showcases books, letters and other artefacts illustrating the life and work of writers, critics and students involved in literature study in the university. It also shows how this study has been intimately interconnected with the literary life of the city more generally, through diverse contacts between the university and Edinburgh writers, theatres, and publishing houses.

Pictures taken by the exhibition organiser show the main exhibition hall and some individual displays:

Friends who attended our January 2012 AGM may remember Dr James Loxley’s tale of the rediscovery of William Shakespeare’s The Tragedie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke, ed. John Dover Wilson (Weimar, 1930) in a dusty English literature department storage cabinet. Thankfully, this unique book has been cleaned of dust and is displayed alongside other fascinating exhibits.

Find details of the Exhibition on Facebook

Housed on the Ground Floor of the Main Library in George Square, the exhibition is free and open to the general public. It runs until 27th October 2012, Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-1pm.

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Past, Present and Future Conditional: Reflections on a Chapter in Libraries by Sheila Cannell
20th June 2012, Main Library

Libraries have been around for millennia and with sufficient creativity will continue to flourish.  Sheila’s time in libraries has coincided with the advent of the digital age and of the Google generation. Libraries and library users still do the same things, but in radically different ways. Sheila Cannell, Director of Library Services and Honorary Secretary of the Friends of Edinburgh University Library, has worked in libraries for 36 of the fastest changing years in library history.  In this talk Sheila reflects on her passion for libraries, and on how library collections and services have changed over her working life. Not known for sitting on the fence, and with the benefit of her experience, she also takes a punt on what might happen in the next chapter in the history of libraries.
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Masterpieces II. Exhibition Opening and Private View
 
30th March 2012, Main Library
 

The exhibition showcases some of the very best items that demonstrate the richness and diversity of Library Collections of printed books, manuscripts, musical instruments and works of fine art.
 
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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.