Oh Christmas Tree!

Main Library Christmas Tree

Christmas has well and truly arrived at the Main Library with the installation of a 12 foot Christmas tree. This year we decided to use images from the CRC collections to decorate the tree – a selection of images (taken by the Digital Imaging Unit) was printed and library staff crafted them into beautiful paper decorations. The tree was then┬ádecorated by Exhibitions Officer, Emma Smith.

There is a poster on display next to the tree explaining what the images are, but if you’re unable to visit you can take a look at them after the jump…

We selected 10 images for their similar colour palette, but they each have a story to tell.

Image of Irelande, 1581, John Derricke (De.3.76 This copy has a unique set of plates illustrating Irish and English costume.

Book of Hours (Breviarium St. Katherine), c.1430 (MS.39). Produced in England, this illuminated manuscript was donated to the University in 1679.


Biblia cum postillis Nicolai de Lyra, 1498 (Inc.188), printed in Basel by Johann Froben.


Letter from Robert Burns to James Johnson (La.II.210). In this letter to his friend, Burns is correcting Johnson’s spelling of ‘tobacco’.

Ye Cheyngyng of Ye Mwne, 16th century, (MS.150). This beautiful religious text was written in Scots for the Dominican Convent of Sciennes, Edinburgh.

Thistlethwaite Manuscript, c.1615, (Dc.5.125). An important example of early lute music.

Manuscript Fragment, (La.II.669). This delicate fragment from the David Laing Collection includes embellished gold wrapping which is contemporary with the writing.

Letter from Rachel Erskine, Lady Grange, 1734, (La.I.201). Lady Grange’s letters were smuggled off St Kilda where she had been exiled by her husband.


Letter from James Boswell, 15 April 1785, (La.II.82/4). The David Laing Collection contains 100,000s of letters and manuscript documents.


Exemplorum Memorabilium, Valerius Maximus, 1670 (W*.30.15). The inscription on the title page indicates that it was donated by an Isobell Mitchell.

All of these images were taken by the Digital Imaging Unit. You can view high resolution versions by searching our online image database: http://images.is.ed.ac.uk

Fran Baseby, Service Delivery Curator, Centre for Research Collections