The extensive University of Edinburgh Collections are here to facilitate teaching and research around the University. The collections, which stretch over 60 kilometres of materials, relate to the history of the University, Scotland, and the wider world.

As well as being accessible to the public, this is your collection. Students at ECA can use it to inform their work and research through online resources, visiting in person, or taking part in one of the many projects and exhibitions that the team run to explore and display our objects.

The Collections include, among other things, art, musical instruments, rare books, and archives. A major part of it, housed at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), is the Edinburgh Cast Collection, which comprises 265 plaster casts of antique, Renaissance, and Gothic statues, bas reliefs, and architectural passages.

Antediluvian Landscape - Max Ernst

Antediluvian Landscape - Max Ernst

As well as being accessible to the public, this is your collection. Students at ECA can use it to inform their work and research through online resources, visiting in person, or taking part in one of the many projects and exhibitions that the team run.

Some previous ways that ECA students and staff have interacted with the Collections include the acquisition and debates around the future intentions of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi’s Tottenham Court Road mosaics; researching and displaying items from the Torrie Collection; and the calibrating and installing of Katie Paterson’s Timepieces in the ECA Main Building. Certain student work is also selected to become a permanent part of the Collections at the annual ECA Degree Show.

The calibration and installation of Katie Paterson's "Timepieces" by students during Welcome Week
Edinburgh College of Art
The calibration and installation of Katie Paterson's "Timepieces" by students during Welcome Week
The restoration of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi's Tottenham Court Road mosaics by students on the Edinburgh Collections course
Edinburgh College of Art
The restoration of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi's Tottenham Court Road mosaics by students on the Edinburgh Collections course

Collections staff include specialist curators and archivists who are also involved in research and teaching at ECA and the wider University. Staff in the Centre for Research Collections also assist with enquiries, access, and other services offered at the University's Main Library.