Student Research Rooms: fantastic resource for History, Classics and Archaeology

Today’s blog post is a guest post from Aimee Fletcher, SRR Co-ordinator, about the superb book collections available to staff and students from HCA in the Student Research Rooms (SRR).

At the School of History, Classics and Archaeology (HCA) we are fortunate to have our Student Research Rooms (SRR). This is a space which is not only a study space, it is also home to the School’s personal book collections. All of these collections are vast and have come from significant academic figures, personal collections which were donated to the school, and have continued to flourish thanks to the tradition of donating books.

Upper floor of Student Research Rooms, Doorway 4, Teviot Place. © Aimee Fletcher

Within some of these collections are books with have been passed down by important figures of HCA’s history at Edinburgh. Individuals such as Jim McMillan, a European historian and previous head of the School; the Sellar and Goodhart collection, which is named after two of Edinburgh’s most influential classics professors and Jim Compton whose American history collection of 2,000 books boasts some of the only known copies of certain publications of its kind in Scotland. The collections we have are unique and are looked after and made available to borrow by twenty volunteers who are found at the volunteer desk on 2M (10am-6pm, Monday-Friday).

You can find out more about the collections and the books within these from Student Research Rooms (SRR).

Using and promoting the collections

Upper floor of Student Research Rooms, Doorway 4, Teviot Place. © Aimee Fletcher

Each of these collections have been passed down to us as a school so that the books and articles that once inspired these great academics may continue to inspire us as students and staff at the school for generations to come. However, these collections are currently under-used. As the SRR Co-ordinator this year, I have the pleasure of helping to look after the resource room and its eight fantastic collections which are available to all staff and students here at HCA.

My priority as the co-ordinator this year is to look into ways to promote our collections and make them more accessible. I plan to do this by seeking a collaboration with HCA societies and academic staff to promote the collections and to submit some ‘recommended reads’ in each of the collections which we can highlight in the collections.

Archaeology exhibition

The SRR and the Archaeology are currently collaborating by holding a mini exhibition of the undergraduate Architectural Archaeology student’s models. These models will be available to visit in the SRR until the 28th of November with the aim of showcasing students work and promoting the use of the SRR space. I hope that this exhibition will be the first of many exhibitions of students work to be displayed in the SRR.

Suggestions and feedback

We hope that we will see more students visiting the Student Research Rooms and making use of the collections as the year progresses, and we are very open to receiving any feedback about what students and staff would like to see in this study space. If you have any suggestions, feedback or enquiries about the Student Research Rooms, please do not hesitate to email me at and I will be happy to help in the best way I can.

Aimee Fletcher – SRR Co-ordinator