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Welcome to the History subject guide - your guide to using the library resources, services and facilities for your subject.

Main Library

Finding books, e-books, journals, articles, etc.

Use DiscoverEd to search the Library's collections and find books, ebooks, ejournal articles and more. Use your University Login to sign into your account and manage loans, requests and fines. 

Other University of Edinburgh Libraries

There are 10 other site libraries at the University that you can visit and use. 

Internal photo of New College Library

Photo of Noreen and Kenneth Murray Library building

Where are the History books?

The Main Library holds the majority of books for History. Most of these books are on the 2nd floor or in the HUB (High Use Book) Collection on the ground floor.

The most common shelfmarks for History start with:

D-DX World History; History of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia 
DA History of Great Britain
E and F History of the Americas; United States, Canada, Latin America.

But History crosses over with a wide range of other subject areas and disciplines so you may find yourself looking for other shelfmarks, including some of the older lending collections on the 4th floor.

Remember the Library has access to thousands of e-books which you can access via DiscoverEd.

How do I find journals and journal articles?

The Library has access to thousands of e-journals. 

In the Main Library print journals are on the 4th floor with shelfmark range Per..0 - Per..9.

A large number of print journals are held at the Library Annexe.

You can find print and e-journals and access e-journals and e-journal articles through DiscoverEd.

Help for Online Distance Learning Students

If you're an online distance learning (ODL) student we have information on how you can best use the Library services and resources:

Centre for Research Collections

The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) is the main space for anyone using the University of Edinburgh's historic and special collections, including rare books and manuscripts, University of Edinburgh archives, personal and institutional archives, Lothian Health Services Archives, University of Edinburgh PhD theses, art collection, musical instrument collection and more.

The CRC are based on the 6th floor, Main Library.

HCA Student Research Rooms (SRR)

The School of History, Classics and Archaeology (HCA) has its own collection of books which students and staff in HCA have access to within the Student Research Rooms (SRR).

You can access the SRR on floor 2M of the School's accommodation at Doorway 4, Teviot Place. 

The books in the School's own collections do not appear on DiscoverEd but you can find out what is in these collections via the SRR website:

What do I do if the Library doesn't have what I need?

Introduction to the Main Library (1968)

Edinburgh University Library an introduction. Department of Animal Genetics Research Film Unit Edinburgh 1968. Directed by Eric C.A. Lucey.

All rights reserved The University of Edinburgh

Watch the original on Media Hopper

What is the University Collections Facility?

The University Collections Facility (formerly known as the Library Annexe) is the University's off-campus storage facility. Material can be requested and delivered to Main Library or site library for borrowing or you can request scans of single chapters or articles via electronic document delivery.

Other library catalogues


Help with all aspects of using the Library, its facilities, services and resources, is available from the Library Helpdesks. If you are unable to find what you are looking for on this Subject Guide or on the Library website please do contact them in person, by phone or email.

If you would like help with your literature search or with finding information you can contact me directly.