Researching the Church of Scotland at New College Library

NEW COLLEGE 12.7-MThe General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 2015 will take place between 16 and 23 May 2015. Staff and students continue to have access to New College and New College Library as normal, but as there may be an additional security presence at the entrance to New College we advise carrying your UoE staff/student card with you at all times.

At this time of year we expect to welcome visiting ministers and members of the Church of Scotland community to New College Library, often to research and reflect on the topics of business at the General Assembly.

For research into current issues in the Kirk, the Reports of the General Assembly are held in Stack II at sLX 50 B, side by side with the Principal Acts of the General Assembly at sLX50 AB.  Documentation from the last five years of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly is also available free to download from their website at – recent membership and documentation for Church of Scotland Councils, committees and departments is also available from their website.We continue to collect the daily papers and proceedings of current General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland. The Church of Scotland Yearbook is also available, in Stack I at BX9076 Chu. The Church of Scotland magazine, Life and Work, has current issues on display in the current periodicals section in the Library Hall, with older bound volumes held downstairs in Stack II at Per L. When tracking down information about ministers, the Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae remains a key tool, available at Ref. BX9099 Sco. in New College Library Hall.

For researchers interested in the historic Kirk, the Acts of the General Assembly are available from the seventeenth century onwards in Special and General Collections copies. New College Library’s print collections includes the collections of the former General Assembly Library, and also the Edinburgh Theological Library. This means that New College Library holds Church of Scotland accounts, orders of service, aids to devotion, Books of Discipline, Books of Common Prayer, publications of individual committees such as the Church and Nation Committee, and publications by groups such as Panel on Doctrine, Science, Religion & Technology. For those more interested in the Church of Scotland abroad rather than at home, we hold appeals, annual reports and archives relating to Church of Scotland missions.

University of Edinburgh users can access Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618 and Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1638-1842 online via British History Online. Seven volumes of Hew Scott’s original Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae are also available digitally to UofE users. Finally, Gale Newsvault provides University users with access to The Home and Foreign Record of the Church of Scotland.

Christine Love-Rodgers – Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

3 thoughts on “Researching the Church of Scotland at New College Library

  1. I am an MA student at the University of Southampton
    I would like to access records of Church/Jewish Interfaith relations and, The Inheritance of Abraham? report May 2013
    I will be in Edinburgh on 9 June.
    would it be possible to visit the collections?
    Alan Fell

    • Dear Alan,
      You’re very welcome to visit New College Library. If you have not already done so, I recommend that you join the SCONUL access scheme for UK HE students which gives reciprocal access to HE libraries – see You’ll need to register at the University of Southampton library as this is your ‘home’ library.
      Alternatively, members of the public can apply for a free reference access card on production of Photographic ID AND proof of address* AND colour passport-size/style photograph.
      If you are planning to consult any Special Collections items I recommend that you email in advance so that we can retrieve them for when you arrive, to make the most of your research visit.

      I also note that ‘The Inheritance of Abraham’ report is available online at

      With best wishes,
      Christine Love-Rodgers
      Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

  2. Edinburgh University Library keeps sending Overdue Item notices.
    Item. 3015002802203 and
    Item. 3015002802204

    The books in question, from the Special Collections, 2 Bound Volumes of Reformed Presbyterian Magazine (circa 1858) were returned in February 2018 to the desk at New College Library (possibly in the afternoon on a Saturday).
    They had been kept in a Special Collections Cabinet behind the Desk.
    Have the stacks where they belong been rechecked?
    I spoke to a Librarian at the Desk, turned in the books, and walked away.
    Thank you for your assistance.

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