OEC Bibliography of Edinburgh History

We have published the online OEC Bibliography of Edinburgh History, which brings together an extensive collection of more than 2000 items – books, chapters, journal articles, and dissertations – covering the rich heritage of the city, dating from Maitland’s 1753 History of Edinburgh and Leith.

Edinburgh Dean of Guild Court architectural plans

In 2017 we supported Dr Joe Rock’s project to catalogue architectural plans from 1700 to 1824 held by the Edinburgh Dean of Guild Court.

This collection of drawings, reports and correspondence traced the development of the capital, site by site and provides fascinating insights, particularly on the construction of the New Town.

The plans themselves can be viewed in the Edinburgh City Archives in the City Chambers on the High Street.

While Dr Rock’s website is no longer available, we are providing downloads – please be aware the file sizes are large – of the catalogue in four parts, including an introduction:

Southside Graveyard Project

The Club was instrumental in securing £5000 to fund the Edinburgh Southside Graveyard Project in 2015.

Restoring headstones which have been laid flat for safety reasons, the project enhances the environment and allows inscriptions to be read again.

Other contributors were the Grange Association, the Sir James Miller Edinburgh Trust, the South Central Neighbourhood Partnership and a private individual. 

By working closely with the City of Edinburgh Council, the project provides opportunities to participants on the Community Payback Programme. The COVID-19 pandemic halted progress, although – in partnership with the Grange Association – 227 headstones were rebuilt and 19 foundations prepared in the Grange Cemetery up to November 2020.

The Old Edinburgh Club was sorry to hear of the passing in 2022 of Alan McKinney, who was the driving force for the project. Alan also made an enormous contribution to the work of the Old Edinburgh Club, including serving as Honorary Treasurer.

Alan wrote an article the Book of the Old Edinburgh Club making the case for the project, and the Grange Association published a leaflet on progress.

Public Sculpture of Edinburgh

The Club co-sponsored research for the two-volume authoritative publication on the Public Sculpture of Edinburgh, volume 20 of the Public Sculpture of Britain series published in 2018 by Liverpool University Press.

The principal author was Ray McKenzie, previously Senior Lecturer in Art History and Research Fellow at the School of Art in Glasgow. Research was undertaken by by Dianne King, previously Acting head of Humanities and Honorary Research Fellow at Edinburgh College of Art, and Tracy Smith, freelance researcher and editor.

The Old Edinburgh Club Prize

The inaugural winner in 2019 was Charlotte Bowers for her thesis “Men who loved their fellow mortals: Blood donor recruitment, identity and motivation in Edinburgh, 1930-1939.”

For a second year, in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh, the Club has awarded its local history prize. This is for an impressive Masters thesis or, exceptionally, an undergraduate dissertation. The successful candidate was Maximilian Knight, a graduate of the University of Exeter for his thesis “Edinburgh’s Slavery Connection: The British Linen Company and the Plantation Colonies (1727-1833).”

Articles based on these two theses have been published in the Book of the Old Edinburgh Club volumes 16 (2020) and 17 (2021).