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

Library Services Update 2020-21

This page contains current information on library closures, loans and fines, support for online learning, online access to teaching resources and how to get further help.

Search Library Resources


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. 

Key databases for Archaeology

Cultural and heritage collections

The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) is the main space for anyone using the University of Edinburgh's historic, cultural and heritage collections, including rare books and manuscripts, University of Edinburgh archives, personal and institutional archives, Lothian Health Services Archives (LHSA), University of Edinburgh PhD theses, art collection, musical instrument collection and a wide range of other museum objects from geological specimens to anatomical models.

  • 400,000 rare books
  • Over 6km of manuscripts and archives
  • Around 200,000 artefacts, works of art, potted material, models, specimens, musical instruments and scientific apparatus
  • Over 40,000 digital images
  • Around 25,000 PhD theses available digitally

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

Image on right is from G Perrot, A History of Art in Chaldaea and Assyria, vol. 2, 1884. Abercromby Collection. © University of Edinburgh.

The Gordon Childe Archaeology Collection is housed within the School of History, Classics and Archaeology (William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School) and was founded by Vere Gordon Childe in 1927, when he became the first Abercromby professor of prehistoric archaeology. This collection contains c. 5000 archaeological artefacts from various periods and regions across Europe, the Mediterranean, Egypt, the Near East and India, including textile fragments from Neolithic Swiss Lake villages, in addition to ethnographic items.

Early Neolithic ground stone axe (Mid 4th Century BC). © University of Edinburgh

Main Library

The Main Library holds the majority of books for Archaeology. Most of these books are on the 2nd floor or in the HUB Collection on the ground floor.

The following Main Library tour was created prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and is still very useful for finding out what resources, services and facilities are available in the Main Library and familiarising yourself with the building. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic there are changes to access to the building and availability of physical resources, services and facilities. Make sure you check the Library Services Update website for full information and to keep up-to-date with current situation.

Resource Lists

Find your course reading lists via Resource Lists. Type in your course code or keywords from the course title, or your lecturer's name.

Please note that not all courses at the University use Resource Lists. 

Exam Papers

Exam Papers Online provides access to the collected degree examination papers of the University from 2004 onwards. They may be used by students as a study aid only.

Your Academic Support Librarian

Caroline Stirling's picture
Caroline Stirling
Argyle House (Floor F East)
3 Lady Lawson Street
Edinburgh EH3 9DR

Online learning

The Library provides access to 100s of 1000s of online resources, including e-books, e-journals and online databases, but we also provide lots of other services and support for students on online learning programmes.

Keep up to date

Follow HCA Librarian blog or on Twitter to keep up to date with Library news related to History, Classics and Archaeology.

Follow the Library on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or blog to keep up to date with Library news, services, resources and support for the entire University.