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Digital primary source and archive collections

The University has unique cultural and heritage collections that you can utilise in your research or teaching. Use this guide to find out more about what is available and how to access it. And find out more about other local libraries, archives, museums, etc., that could provide you with access to relevant primary source material.

Centre for Research Collections (CRC)

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.

Research resources

A selection of resources relevant for research into the CRC's collections.

Though these resources provide useful guidance on specific areas of the collections, we always recommend that you use them alongside the collection catalogues to make sure the information you have is up to date - for example, many of geographic guides have not been updated since publication and do not, therefore, include more recent acquisitions.

Local libraries, archives, collections, museums

Here are just a selection of other libraries, archives, museums, collections that are available in Edinburgh. Do check with the individual organisation regarding access.