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New resources - CAHSS - 2022-2023

Highlights new subscriptions and larger and significant items relevant to CAHSS Schools that were purchased in the last academic year.

New Library resources for Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences

This page highlights new larger digital items and subscriptions acquired in 2022/23 which were requested by, or are relevant to, the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (PPLS).

The Academic Support Librarian for PPLS is Ishbel Leggat.

The Academic Library Representative for PPLS in 2022/2023 is Dr Inna Kupreeva.

We work in partnership with the CAHSS College Library & Information Strategy Committee.


Heritage Collections - Recent Acquisitions

John Walker's Collection of 19th Century British Correspondence

Collection of 19th-century autograph letters assembled by the Rev. John Walker (University of Edinburgh Library, Heritage Collections, Archives, SC-ACC-2023-0116)

Born in Cheshire to Scottish parents, John Walker (1855-1941) emigrated to Australia in 1876, where he rose to become Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church. A dedicated autograph-hunter, Walker assembled a collection of over 200 letters by 19th-century British personalities, focusing especially on the worlds of science, religion, literature, art, academia, and politics.

The collection, bought with capital funds from an Australian bookseller in spring 2023, was of particular interest to Heritage Collections as it includes many letters to, or from, Edinburgh University academics. Its acquisition strengthens existing University archival holdings and provides invaluable source materials for researchers into the growing field of University history.

Of exceptional interest are ten letters to Walker’s uncle, John Stuart Blackie, Professor of Greek, 1852-1882, and a prominent campaigner for educational reform, the Gaelic language, and crofers’ rights. Blackie’s correspondents include politicians, clergymen, poets, and scholars, highlighting the sheer breadth of his interests. The collection also includes eight letters to William Garden Blaikie, Professor of Divinity at New College, 1868-1897, relating both to his academic activities and to his editorship of the Free Church journal The North British Review. There are six letters to James Geikie, Professor of Geology, 1882-1914, best known for his pioneering research into the geological impact of the ice age. Geikie’s correspondents include David Masson, Professor of English Literature, 1865-1895, and a prominent advocate for university education for women, and Peter Guthrie Tait, Professor of Natural Philosophy, 1860-1901, who writes to introduce his student son. There is also a lively manuscript poem by Geikie celebrating the University’s tercentenary in 1884. Other University luminaries featured in the collection include James Geikie’s brother Archibald, who preceded him in the Chair of Geology (1871-1881); Sir James Young Simpson, Professor of Midwifery, 1840-1870, renowned for discovering the anaesthetic properties of chloroform; and David Brewster, inventor of the kaleidoscope, who served as Principal of the University (1859-1868). Walker also collected letters from non-teaching staff including poet Alexander ‘Surfaceman’ Anderson who started his working life as a platelayer on the Glasgow railway and ended it as Librarian to the University (1890-1909). Other valuable archival materials include the class cards of students attending mid-century lectures in English Literature, Greek, Natural Philosophy (Physics), and Mathematics.

These manuscripts not only illumine the internal life of the University but also show how our academics played a wider role in public and intellectual life both within Scotland and further afield. Besides University of Edinburgh figures, the Walker Collection contains letters from prominent British scientists, writers, artists, musicians, politicians, clergymen, and explorers. Taken together, they paint a vivid picture of 19th-century intellectual life, as writers exchange notes on publications, exhibitions, and public lectures, accept and decline invitations, seek patronage, and canvas churchmen and politicians. The collection will also be of interest to researchers examining autograph collection as a cultural phenomenon, particularly in expatriate communities where it became a means of maintaining links with the ‘home’ culture.

New Journals

New Online Reference Work

Oxford Research Encyclopedia - Psychology

The Oxford Research Encyclopedia - Psychology is a dynamic digital encyclopedia which includes in-depth peer-reviewed articles covering a broad range of topics, with multi-media features embedded in articles, along with cross-referenced links to related content.

  • All articles are written and peer reviewed by certified experts of the topic
  • Articles are updated by experts to ensure content reflects new insights
  • User-friendly interface makes searching simple.

(Purchased from Stirling Boyd Bequest funds).

ProQuest Access 350

In 2022/23 the Library extended it's subscription to ProQuest Access 350 until 31 July 2024.

These databases allow you to explore 600 years worth of world history and, along with the wide and varied range of digital primary source databases the Library already gives you access to, can help enrich your learning, teaching and research.

Find out more about ProQuest Access 350

Library subject guides for PPLS

You can explore the Library Subject Guides to find out about the full range of library resources for PPLS.