University of Edinburgh University of Edinburgh Archive and Manuscript Collections

Special Collections : Archives Catalogues & Resources :: Alumni

Sources, Acknowledgements & Coverage

Students of Medicine, 1762-1826

The foundation of this database lies in an earlier database compiled by Dr. Lisa M. Rosner, It was was compiled from the following:

This data was used in the compilation of the following publication by Dr. Rosner:

This original data has been augmented by links to digital images taken from the earliest University of Edinburgh: Laureation & Degrees Album.

Please note: There is no guarantee that occurences of the same name always relate to the same person (e.g. John Robertson studying in 1798 might not be the same John Robertson listed for 1799). The composite record which has been created in this database offers the best analysis of the data available but should not be considered definitive.

Students of Medicine (sample of 205), 1833-1846

The foundation of this database lies in an earlier database based on the following source:

As only 205 individuals were keyed into the original database, it is only a sample of those studying during that period. The possibility of adding further names is being considered.

Graduates in Veterinary Medicine, 1911-1955

This data accompanied the student records [Edinburgh University Library Special Collections: EUA IN2/4/3] when they were transferred to the archives from the (then) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The college was reconstituted as an integral part of the University of Edinburgh in 1951 and became a full faculty in 1964.

Students at New College, 1843-1943

This data is a combination of two different lists drawn up by J. Robb and Hugh Watt and held at New College Library. Together they provide the master list of students who matriculated at New College Edinburgh for the first 100 years of its existence. These have been augmented with information drawn from Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, Annals of the United Free Church of Scotland 1900-1929 and the Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae.

It is important to remember that New College Edinburgh was founded as an independent institution, only becoming part of the University of Edinburgh in 1935. ( ... more about the history of New College )

First Matriculations, 1890-1899

This is a snapshot of First Matriculations (first year of enrolment in a course of study) [Edinburgh University Library Special Collections: EUA IN1/ADS/STA/4], beginning with session 1890/91 and finishing at the end of 'C' in 1898/99. The data is from a legacy database. Conversion was largely successful but errors may be present. Careful examination of the data is currently underway to rectify known problems.

Laureation & Degrees, 1587-1809

This is a digitised copy of the first volume of Laureation & Degrees (First Laureation Album) [Edinburgh University Library Special Collections: EUA IN1/ADS/STA/1/1]. The volume was bound, at some point, out of its proper chronological sequence and remained so until quite recently. The digitised order reflects the previous disorder.

This album begins with the text of the 'sponsio' or Confession of Faith (sometimes referred to as the National Covenant) of 1580, to which the graduates subscribed, and which continued to be subscribed to by Professors and Students for many years. The entries for laureations (or graduations) begin in August 1587, when Robert Rollock, the first Principal 'did laureat the first classe which had passed under his charge in the Colledge of Edinburgh, after every one of them had subscrybed the Covenant.'

This first class consisted of 47 students, all of whom signed their names, a practice which continued well into the 18th century. Additions were made against the names of the early graduates, probably by later Professors, adding designations such as 'minister verbi' or, for example, 'Primarius, prius Regens' against the name of Patrick Sands, who was in the first class of graduates, and who became Principal in 1620. The Register records all graduates up to 1712, and medical graduates from 1710 up to 1809.The Register itself was active in the University until 1809, and it can be safely said that it played a central role in the life of the institution for over 200 years.

Many of the signatures in the volume are of key figures in the life of the University, and include those of Robert Rollock, the first Principal, William Drummond of Hawthornden, the Poet and Benefactor to the University, Robert Leighton, and Hugh Blair.

The volume concludes with a few administrative entries made after 1809.

Awards to Women students, 1876-1894

Women were only allowed to graduate from the University following measures put in place following the Universities (Scotland) Act, 1889. The first female undergraduates at Edinburgh were admitted in 1892 and eight graduated in 1893, all of them having previously studied at classes given by the Edinburgh Association for the University Education for Women. All classes were mixed except those for medical students. By 1914 a thousand women had degrees from Edinburgh University.

Women were not totally excluded prior to this and this database represents those who managed to gain a Certificate in Arts in the lead-up to full admission being available. Details are taken from an older index, based on details as published in the University Calendar, with the addition of notes.

Early Veterinary Graduates, 1825-1865

Although William Dick founded his college in 1823, the earliest register of students within the archives of the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College begins in 1863. Included in Dick's Occasional Papers however was a list of the students who graduated during his time there; a facsimile of this is follows.

It is assumed that any place name given relate to the individual's later place of residence.

There are no surviviving records of these students other than the aforementioned list, printed within, Dick, William and Pringle, R. O., Occasional papers on veterinary subjects (Edinburgh, Blackwood, 1869).

Extra Academical students, 1887-1922

The data on these students comes from our Register of Extra-Academical Students. These students attended classes outwith the managed degree programmes. This was one way by which women, prior to being allowed to matricluate and graduate, gained access to University-level education. It also allowed individuals to take classes for their of interest without signing up to a complete programme of study.

The handwriting in the volume has been quite challenging to describe and some names have not been fully deciphered. We hope to digitise this volume in due course to allow you to see the actual records.