OEC Bibliography of Edinburgh History

Our ‘go to’ place to explore the wealth of what’s been written about the history of Edinburgh.

The Bibliography contains more than 2,000 items: books, chapters, journal articles and dissertations. It encompasses many themes: social, cultural economic, architectural, etc, and drills down to Edinburgh’s villages and communities as well as the city as a whole. It has been compiled, under a commission from The Club, by Dr Malcolm Noble.

Find out more about the Bibliography and how to use it here.

Southside Graveyard Project

We have helped to fund the Edinburgh Southside Graveyard Project. By restoring headstones which have been laid flat for safety reasons, the Project improves the environment and allows inscriptions to be read once more. It works with the City of Edinburgh Council by providing constructive opportunities to participants on the Community Payback Programme.

The conception and early stages of the project are described in an article by Alan McKinney and Andrew McMillan in The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club 2012 (Volume 9, pp137-142). This followed a talk given to an international conference in Paris in 2011, ‘Jardin de Pierres: Conservation de la Pierre dans les Parcs, Jardins et Cimitières’.

The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club 2020 (Volume 16, pp 109-110) contains a progress report by Alan McKinney.

Edinburgh in Film

The Club has begun a project to capitalise on the Moving Image Archive of the National Library, producing short reviews of films and clips about Edinburgh. Our intention is to publicise the Archive and highlight the Edinburgh content. We would be delighted for club members to contribute your own reviews.

Old Edinburgh Club Prize

In 2020, in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh, The Club inaugurated an annual prize prize for contributions to the history of Edinburgh. This is awarded for a Masters thesis or, exceptionally, an outstanding undergraduate dissertation. Nominations for the prize are normally be made by academic staff in the University’s School of History, Classics and Archaeology.

The successful candidates and their topics to date have been:

  • 2021: Maximilian Knight, ‘Edinburgh’s Slavery Connection: The British Linen Company and the Plantation Colonies (1727-1833)’
  • 2020: Charlotte Bowers, ‘Men who loved their fellow mortals: Blood donor recruitment, identity and motivation in Edinburgh 1930-39’

We encourage our prize winners to submit a draft for publication in the Book of the Old Edinburgh Club. Charlotte’s article on her research appeared in the The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club 2020 (Volume 16, pp 63-75).

Edinburgh Dean of Guild: Architectural Plans, 1700-1824

The Club financially supported this catalogue of records of property development in Edinburgh, covering 1700-1824. The work has been undertaken by Dr Joe Rock in conjunction with Edinburgh City Archives, and is published in four parts, 1700-1769, 1770-1800, 1801-1814 and 1815-1824. The collection is remarkable, if not totally comprehensive! There are gaps, principally for the period 1728 to 1741 for which very very few documents have survived.

The actual records will be available again to view at the City Archives in the City Chambers on the High Street, once COVID-19 public health guidelines allow this. Most of the records are held outside the building and will need to be ordered at least one week in advance.