The Library’s earliest catalogue

When DiscoverEd launches in the summer, it will be time to say goodbye to the Library Catalogue –

The current University of Edinburgh’s Library Catalogue has been in use for 16 years which is pretty old for a library catalogue and this got us thinking about what the catalogue was like in the early days of the Library.

Fortunately for us the Library’s Iconic Items site has given us a glimpse of the earliest Library Catalogue for the University Library.


Earliest Library Catalogue (17th century)

From the 17th century the Iconic Items site notes:

The early records of the University Library are complex and detailed and show a rapidly-growing collection. Edinburgh was Britain’s first post-Reformation university and the first secular, municipal foundation. This is reflected in the breadth of the collections from a very early date – not just law and divinity but also modern literature, radical philosophy and foreign books from as far away as America and China.

Find out more and get access to the full image at:

The University Library’s collections have grown substantially since the 17th century and in recent years has seen a large increase in online resources such as e-books and e-journals. Although our current Library Catalogue is far more advanced and sophisticated, like the 17th century paper catalogue it is now unable to cope with the amount of resources and different types of resources that the University Library holds in its collections.

DiscoverEdLogoBoWWebDiscoverEd will combine the functionality of the current Library Catalogue and Searcher into one single search tool and help you quickly and easily search across many of our collections (both in print and online) for your research and studies. DiscoverEd has strong capabilities in resource discovery and management which gives you the best  possible research experience and helps the Library to be equipped for the future.

Exciting times are ahead with the launch of DiscoverEd but like its 17th century counterpart the current Library Catalogue will not be forgotten.