Special Collections in Edinburgh Central Library
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Edinburgh Libraries are home to items and collections of international significance, details of which are listed below. Contact Central Library to make an appointment to view rare items in person. You will be asked to produce photo ID (e.g. matriculation card, driving licence, passport) when you appear for your appointment. Alternatively, you can view our special collections online.
The Henry Dyer Collection
Glasgow University graduate Henry Dyer taught at the Imperial College of Engineering in Tokyo between 1873 and 1882. His teaching methods were credited with assisting the rapid industrialisation of Japan and he received the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor in 1882. During the 1940s and 1950s Central Library received a large collection of Dyer's Japanese books, photographs, scrolls and prints from his daughter Marie. This collection is now one of the jewels in the crown of Central Library's rare materials and their beauty and workmanship continues to astound scholars and enthusiasts.
The Ernest Levy Archive
Ernest was a Holocaust Survivor who settled in Glasgow, where he became a leading figure in the Scottish Jewish Community. The archive, gifted to us by his daughter Judy Russell, tells the remarkable story of his life.
The Edinburgh Jazz Archive
The Edinburgh Jazz Archive contains books, photographs, recordings and other memorabilia associated with the traditional jazz scene which sprung up in Edinburgh in the 1940's and onwards. Musicians such as Sandy Brown, Al Fairweather, Alex Welsh, Mike Hart and Archie Semple are represented in the collection. The core of the archive belonged to jazz enthusiast Janol Scott. If you would like to view the material in the archive, or you have any material relevant to the Edinburgh traditional jazz scene which you would like to donate to the Jazz Archive please call us on 0131 242 8050, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Donald Dance Collection
The Donald Dance Collection contains many instruction books and leaflets for Scottish dances, which were researched and collected for posterity by Robert and Mamie Donald. They are the definitive instructions for Scottish dances, and many are in unpublished format, or now out of print. The archive also includes books on the history and background of Scottish dance. This unique collection was deposited with Edinburgh City Libraries in 1992, and is now accessible by arrangement through the Music Library . If you would like to consult the archive, or seek further information please call us on 0131 242 8050 or email email@example.com.