Thinking of donating books to New College Library?

New College Library bookshelf

New College Library welcomes donations of recent publications that support the current teaching and research of the School of Divinity. And donations of books which record the intellectual output of the students, staff and alumni of the University of Edinburgh and / or incorporate research using New College Library’s collections are also welcome.

Donations of books to New College Library are accepted by prior arrangement with the Academic Support Librarian, Christine Love-Rodgers. Please get in touch to discuss your donation, with information about the extent of the collection and the type of material it contains, such as a list of contents. Due to restricted storage space and staffing resource, we have to be selective about what we can accept and may decline donations.

In line with policy elsewhere in the University of Edinburgh Library, we will no longer be accepting donations over the New College Library helpdesk.  Please contact the Librarian about your donations before you bring them to the library.

Christine Love-Rodgers
Academic Support Librarian – Divinity, University of Edinburgh
*Working Mondays to Thursdays*

Researching the Free Church of Scotland at New College Library

NCLNew College’s origins lie in the Disruption of 1843, when over a third of the ministers in the Church of Scotland left to form the new Free Church of Scotland. Over 170 years later New College, and New College Library still have an active relationship with the Free Church of Scotland, whose Edinburgh Theological Seminary students come to use New College Library. As you would expect from our shared history, we have rich historical collections for the Free Church, but we also continue to collect some current material from them.

To research current issues in the Free Church, the Reports to the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland are now held in Stack II at Per F, side by side with the recent Principal Acts. The Principal Acts of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland 1900-2014 are available free to download at Recent Free Church Assembly Reports are also available to download from

New College Library Free Church holdings are probably most comprehensive for the earlier period of Free Church history. The Acts of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland 1843-1900 are available in Stack I at sLY 50 A, alongside the Assembly proceedings and debates at sLY 50 B. This material is available on open access – please note that the online library catalogue also lists additional copies with individual entries by date which are kept in Special Collections. Researchers looking for browsing access may prefer the General Collections copies available in Stack I.

New College Library also holds the historic periodicals of the Free Church, including The monthly record of the Free Church of Scotland at Per M and the Free Church Magazine at Per F in Stack II. For University of Edinburgh users, these titles, including The Home and Foreign Missionary Record for the Free Church of Scotland and The Free Church Monthly and Missionary Record are also available online via Gale Newsvault.

New College students, late 19thC

New College students, late 19thC

When researching Free Church ministers, the key work for the early period is the Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843-1900, held in the New College Library Reference section at  Ref. BX9084 Fre.  The matriculation records of New College students 1843-1943 are also searchable online at data is a combination of two different lists drawn up by J. Robb and Hugh Watt and held at New College Library. Together they provide the master list of students who matriculated at New College Edinburgh for the first 100 years of its existence. These have been augmented with information drawn from Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, Annals of the United Free Church of Scotland 1900-1929 and the Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae Useful information about ministers may also be gleaned from the Dictionary of National Biography (available in print and online) and from searching the online archives of historic newspapers such as the Times and the Scotsman (tip : try limiting your search to obituaries).    

 Christine Love-Rodgers – Academic Support Librarian, Divinity

Another Book Sale success at New College Library, Edinburgh

New College Library held another successful Book Sale of duplicate volumes and unsuitable donations this Freshers week in the David Welsh Reading Room, New College Library. We’re pleased to be able to tell you that we raised over £1200! All proceeds will go to support New College Library funds. Previous book sales have supported new book purchasing, rare book conservation and archive listing projects.

The Book Sale would not be able to happen without the support of helpers from the New College postgraduate student community, who staffed the sale and helped with setting up and clearing away. A big thank you goes out to them!

Students and staff often ask what will happen to the unsold stock. This year some books will be going to the  Josophat Mwale Theological Institute (JMTI), in Zomba, Malawi, courtesy of Dr David Reimer. Other stock is being collected by St Columba’s Hospice Bookshop, Edinburgh.

New College Theses collection now fully catalogued online

Over 700 New College theses covering the period 1920-1985 have now been catalogued online as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects.  Some of these theses have second  copies at the main Library, but many others are unique copies only held in New College Library. The completion of this project means that all of New College Library’s theses are now listed on the University of Edinburgh Library’s online catalogue.

The Theses collection demonstrates the richness and diversity of Divinity research in the twentieth century, with topics ranging from  the Buddhist conception of Man in relation to the Christian conception, to the Church in Shetland during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries – to pick just a few. Current Divinity PhD students now have improved access to the range of previous research done at New College, and New College alumni with PhDs will now be able to find the fruits of their efforts on the online catalogue.

Now that these theses are included in the University of Edinburgh online catalogue, the details of this research will be shared worldwide, not only by researchers looking for University of Edinburgh material but also by researchers using tools such as COPAC, the union catalogue of the UK’s major research libraries.