Day 19: University of Edinburgh

Tuesday, July 14, 2015
We visited the University of Edinburgh – New College Library today. (Apologies for the long post now…)

From across the street... for perspective (via K. Emmons)
From across the street… for perspective (via K. Emmons)

It’s just south of the Royal Mile (Edinburgh isn’t that big of a city) and dominates the hill.

From the front (via K. Emmons)
From the front (via K. Emmons)
Kelsey for reference (via K. Emmons)
Kelsey for reference (via K. Emmons)

The architecture is fantastic.

Class photo! (via T. Welsh)
Class photo! (via T. Welsh)

It was originally a church, then became a college to train ministers in the 1840s. In the 1930s the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh joined the ranks of New College Library.

Gorgeous New College Library (via K. Emmons)
See the stained glass? (via K. Emmons)

It focuses mainly on religious studies with diverse materials covering many topics. They have roughly 250,000 materials of which 90,000 are rare items.

Small, cordoned off rare book area (via K. Emmons)
Small, cordoned off rare book area (via K. Emmons)

They’ve currently catalogued about 30,000 items to be accessed online. The rest are bound in little books on the shelf.

Rows of bound catalog pages (via K. Emmons)
Rows of bound catalog pages (via K. Emmons)

The furniture in the room is original to the 1930s and does not have the flexibility of modern furniture arrangements. The area has been recently rewired for WiFi so computer terminals don’t exist for public use; patrons must bring their personal computers and technologies. There is not an informal group space, the area lends itself to individual study… but the librarians said that they haven’t heard many complaints. The users prefer the quiet area to work.

Now for a flash of some of the rare materials they laid out for us to look at:

Galileo! Galileo! Figaroooo... (via K. Emmons and Queen)
Galileo! Galileo! Figaroooo… (via K. Emmons and Queen)
Less than a dozen copies in the world (via K. Emmons)
Less than a dozen copies in the world (via K. Emmons)
Can you spot the unicorns on the ark? (via K. Emmons)
Can you spot the unicorns on the ark? (via K. Emmons)
Common prayer book translated into Scottish (via K. Emmons)
Common prayer book translated into Scottish (via K. Emmons)

What about this *neat* comparison between cataloging classifications? Most of the collection uses Library of Congress Classifications (LCC) but some of the collection uses Union Theological Seminary (UTS) which is similar. See the differences?

Library of Congress cataloging (via K. Emmons)
Library of Congress classification (via K. Emmons)
Union Theological Seminary cataloging (via K. Emmons)
Union Theological Seminary classification (via K. Emmons)

I’ve never heard of UTS, but from a quick Google search I believe it’s associated with the school in New York – a book was published in 1939 called Classification of the Library of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. I’m calling that a link.

Once dismissed, I scurried down the hill to visit Primark (a great store with cheap clothes) with some friends and got a lovely pair of “leather” boots for the Highlands of Scotland for only £14!

Edinburgh Castle was next up. It’s definitely a touristy area (I suggest not going during lunch or just after lunch), but totally worth it for the views.

Nah, no photo edits... I promise! (via K. Emmons)
Nah, no photo edits… I promise! (via K. Emmons)

We got to see the Scottish crown jewels

Scottish Crown Jewels (via K. Emmons)
Scottish Crown Jewels sign, no photos of the jewels (via K. Emmons)

…and even had time for an afternoon tea. Check out the food page for images of the food.

The Tea Rooms... we had tea! (via K. Emmons)
The Tea Rooms… we had tea! (via K. Emmons)

The Writers’ Museum was interesting too. It’s a compact residence devoted to Robert Lewis Stevenson (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde or Treasure Island), Robert Burns (“My love is like a red, red rose” or Auld Lang Syne), and Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe or Rob Roy).

Writer's Museum (via K. Emmons)
Writers’ Museum (via K. Emmons)

The building is tucked just off the Royal Mile down one of the many closes. Don’t miss it!

Did you know that Sir Walter Scott has the world’s largest monument devoted to a writer?

Sir Walter Scott monument (via K. Emmons)
Sir Walter Scott monument (via K. Emmons)

It’s a part of the landscape of Edinburgh just off Prince’s Street. The Scottish take pride to a whole new level… that’s not bad, mind you!

I tried a whiskey flight at dinner that night too. Check out the Food in England/Scotland page to see it.

On to Day 20!

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One thought on “Day 19: University of Edinburgh

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