Lectures

Next event

The Old Library in the Quadrangle of the University of Edinburgh
The Old Library in the University of Edinburgh by William Home Lizars. CC by NC, National Galleries of Scotland

Our next event will be ‘Discovering Books and Borrowers in Edinburgh, 1750 -1830’ by Karen (Kit) Baston, on Wednesday, 13 March 2014, 7pm at the Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge and streamed online.

Kit will review the interests of 18th-19th century library users, focusing on four Edinburgh libraries which featured in the recent ‘Books and Borrowing, 1750-1830’ project (The Royal High School Library, Edinburgh University Library, the Advocates Library, and Chambers’ Circulating Library). 

Was the most borrowed author of the Scottish Enlightenment French? Did readers rush to their libraries to borrow the latest Romantic poetry? What genres and authors dominate the lists of the most of the most-borrowed books in Scotland from 1750 to 1830?

Kit Baston was a research fellow on the AHRC-funded project ‘Books and Borrowing, 1750-1830: An Analysis of Scottish Borrowers’ Registers’ which ran from 2020 to 2023 at the Universities of Stirling and Glasgow. Her book, Charles Areskine’s Library: Scottish Lawyers and Their Books at the Dawn of the Enlightenment was published by Brill in 2016.

The 2023-24 lecture programme

  • 18 October 2023 – Reinventing Edinburgh: The Fall and Rise of the Municipality 1830-70 by Richard Rodger
  • 15 November 2023 – Royal Society of Edinburgh in the Nineteenth Century by Bill Jenkins
  • 13 December 2023 – Club Evening – When the Elephant came to the Fair by John Malden; Sweet Singers of Israel by Derrick Johnstone; and Karen O’Brien and Iain Duffus, ‘From Quill to Computer, Edinburgh Manuscript Collection and New Age Discoverability’.
  • 17 January 2024 – Trinity Church – Medieval Edinburgh by Lizzie Swarbrick
  • 14 February 2024 – The University of Edinburgh in the Eighteenth Century by Alasdair Raffe
  • 13 March 2024 – Books and Borrowing: Edinburgh 1750-1830 by Karen Baston

We hold our events in the Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL, with live streaming for anyone who cannot be there in person.

All talks start at 7pm.

Non-members may attend or view each event for £8. Please contact info@oldedinburghclub.org.uk

The 2022-23 lecture programme

Last year’s programme featured:

  • October 2022 – Trevor Griffiths – Entertainment for all the Family? Going to the Pictures in Edinburgh
  • November – Lindsay Paterson – Secondary Schools in 20th Century Edinburgh: Social Divisions and Intellectual Excellence
  • December – Members’ Evening – The Secret Edinburgh Tunnel by Maurice McIlwrick, Elevating the Poor in Victorian Edinburgh by Joan Fraser and Pilkington Jackson’s Union Canal memorial frieze by Graeme Cruickshank
  • January 2023 – Rebekah Higgitt – Instruments, Institutions and Individuals: The Local Networks of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, in the 19th Century
  • February – Diane Watters – Scottish Historic Schools: The Architecture of Burgh Schools, Academies and Educational Institutions before 1880
  • March – Penelope Wilson – Networked Edinburgh 1800-1820 and the Stamp Office Story