Switch to summer vacation opening hours at ECA and A&A Libraries

We will soon be entering the summer vacation period when our library opening hours change.

Please note that Thursday 23rd May is the last day when the ECA Library at Evolution House will be open until 10.00pm.

From 24th May the ECA and A&A Libraries will be open week days only, 9.00am – 4.50pm.

For full details of all the University of Edinburgh library opening hours follow this link.

We wish all our students and staff a happy and restorative summer vacation.

Library in focus 3: National Galleries of Scotland: Modern Two Reading Room

This is the third post in the Library in Focus series, exploring other libraries that could be useful to ECA students.

Today we look at the archive and library at Modern Two, part of the research facilities offered by the National Galleries of Scotland.

A photo of the reading room at Modern Two
The reading room at Modern Two

The reading room at Modern Two is open by prior appointment Monday to Friday, 10am–1pm and 2pm–4.30pm.

The Library at Modern Two covers the history and theory of art from the early fourteenth century to the present. The library has around 100,000 items accessible in the Reading Room, including monographs, catalogues raisonnés, exhibition catalogues, periodicals, auction sales catalogues, audio-visual material, accession files and ephemera. The gallery accession files (sometimes referred to as dossiers) are a unique curatorial resource on every work in the collection, from Titian to Tanning.

The library has been developed to support research into the Collection and the holdings reflect this, with particular strengths in Scottish and European art, and Dada and Surrealism.

The Archive contains over 140 holdings relating to twentieth and twenty-first century artists, collectors and art organisations, and is particularly rich in papers relating to art and artists in Scotland. These include documents, drawings, sketchbooks, correspondence, photographs, textiles, artists’ materials and tools, diaries, newscuttings, audio-visual material and other printed ephemera. There are significant holdings on Eduardo Paolozzi, Joan Eardley and Richard Demarco.

The archive also includes primary materials of international importance in the Roland Penrose and Gabrielle Keiller collections of Dada and Surrealism.

Over 6,000 artists’ books and special books are also available to view in the Reading Room. This collection contains many of the most significant books by artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, and includes a world class collection of Dada and Surrealist publications drawn from the book collections of Roland Penrose and Gabrielle Keiller.

To book a visit and find out more about the collections click here.

Library Wellbeing Collection

The Library has a new Wellbeing Collection which provides access to a range of relevant print and electronic resources for all University of Edinburgh staff and students.

The collection provides resources on all aspects of wellbeing, including but not limited to depression, exercise, general wellbeing, happiness, relationships, sleeping well and University life.

A Resource List listing items in the Collection is available Wellbeing Collection and a webpage provides more information Library Wellbeing Collection | The University of Edinburgh.

To launch our new collection we have a display of Wellbeing Collection books in the Main Library (30 George Square) which will be in place from now until the end of May 2024. All books in the display can be browsed and borrowed so please take a look at this fantastic new collection.

Photo of three displays of books
Wellbeing Collection at Main Library George Square

Bookmarks Winners Display 2024

We are delighted to introduce the 2023 Bookmarks Prizewinners in the exhibition at ECA Library, Evolution House, West Port, 3rd April – 12th May 2024.

A picture of a library display of 7 artworks on paper
Works by Charlene Scott, Innes Clark and Daisy Whittle

During the 2023 Graduate show a panel was tasked to select a group of students who demonstrated in their work an appreciation of the book and an ambitious approach to using it within their practice.

These Prizewinners were then invited to return to ECA and showcase their work at Bookmarks 2024, and now a selection of their work can be viewed at ECA Library.

Prizewinners are as follows:

Innes Clark – Illustration BA Hons

Instagram: @innesclarkillo

Charlene Scott – Intermedia BA Hons

Instagram:   @charlenescottart


Daisy Whittle – Illustration BA Hons

Instagram: @daisywhittle.illustrator

Library in focus: NMS Library

This is the second in a series of guest posts featuring other libraries (external to the University) that ECA students might find useful to visit. Today we are looking at the National Museums Scotland Library.

The NMS Library welcomes researchers, students and visitors to consult the library for reference use, Tuesdays to Fridays, 10am-4pm. Browse our online library catalogue to discover our historic and contemporary collections.

The Library reflects the strengths and variety of the Museum’s object collections and research interests. Anything ‘Available’ at the Research Library can be found at the time of your visit. If an item is at a location other than the Research Library, email ahead so the material can be ready in time for your visit: library@nms.ac.uk

The Research Library is accessible on Level 3 from the Technology by Design Gallery at the National Museum of Scotland. There are several thousand decorative and applied art books for visitors to browse, plus a display of 80 of our most regularly used journals, including The Burlington Magazine, Apollo and Arts in Asia, as well as journals of local arts societies. Many journals held in the Library’s stores are unique within Scotland, and can be requested in advance.

The Library has prominent archaeology and Scottish local history collections, and also excels in the natural sciences. World-wide art and design is the other main collecting strength with material covering everything from fashion, to jewellery and silverwork, to Japanese design and printmaking.

The institutional archive tells the story of the Museum and of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland whose historic library and archive are amalgamated with the Museums’. The Archive can be browsed using the Special Collections & Archives finding guides. The stand-out visual material includes the card index of the Scottish Life Archive (a document of Scottish agricultural and social life in the 20th century), the Daniel Wilson scrapbook (comprising sketches and cuttings of early 19th century Edinburgh’s old town), and the archive of textile historian Margaret Swain (records of textiles contained in Scottish private collections). The Library holds the Graham Gadd collection of 19th and early 20th century furniture ephemera and ceramics artist Majel Davidson’s papers, sketches and designs. There is also the advertising archive of Jenners, Scotland’s former, oldest department store.

To view Special Collections and Archives, complete this booking request form in advance.

This post was written by guest editor Jennifer Higgins of NMS Library.

A class of ECA students visiting the NMS Library in 2023


Bookmarks 2024 took place at ECA on Wednesday 27th March from 1.00pm to 7.00pm at the ECA Sculpture Court.

A view from above of the bookfair taking place in the Sculpture Court
Bookmarks 2024 in action!

This annual event is a fantastic opportunity to meet artists’ books and zines makers, buy and swap stuff, and attend workshops!

Check out the new ECA website for more info.

A graphic for Bookmarks 2024
Illustration by Rebecca Tate, Year 3 Illustration, School of Design, at ECA

Dissertation and Thesis Festival: 11 – 15 March 2024

A picture of a girl reading a book and a QR code for the festival programme

The Library is holding a Dissertation and Thesis Festival from 11 – 15 March 2024, aiming to support students to use library resources for dissertation and thesis success.  

To create the programme, we’ve collaborated with Digital Skills, IAD, Library Research Support and the Centre for Research Collections, as well as external publishers and other libraries including the NLS.  

Key themes for sessions in this year’s Festival include:

  • Using Film in Research
  • Getting started with NVivo 
  • Expert searches for systematic reviews 
  • Discover Overton : the world’s largest searchable index of policy documents
  • AI tools for literature searching: Opportunities, limitations, and responsible use 

Most sessions will be delivered online and will also be recorded, making them accessible to online only students and students unable to attend live sessions due to study or work commitments. 

In addition Festival sessions are complemented by modules in the LibSmart online course which can be undertaken at any time to build student knowledge and skills in library-based research. 

Click here for the Dissertation and Thesis Festival programme details.  

An infographic showing a film camera and details of a seminar on using film in research