‹‹‹ prev (55)

(57) next ›››

bo >ks. In 1778 they began to collect the best editions of books in
other departments of literature, with a view of forming a general
library, to which Mr. Archibald Campbell, of Suceoth, presented
a collection of the principal ancient classics. A catalogue, printed
in 1792, shows the library then contained about 3,400 volumes.
It now (1885) contains about 70,000 volumes, exclusive of pamphlets
and tracts. The members of the society are permitted by tlie
rides tu borrow volumes from the library under certain restrictions,
and even to extend this privilege to strangers whom they may
ree immend. The funds at the disposal of the society lor
maintaining the library are exclusively derived from the entrance
fees of its members.
The Solicitors' Library.— The Library of the Solicitors before the
Supreme Courts was formed about the beginning of the present
century. Ii contains about 12,000 volumes. The primary Diirpose
of the library is for professional use and for consultation during
the sitting of the superior courts. Almost every work bearing on
the law of Scotland is included. The Advocates' Library, t- e
Signet Library, and the Solicitors' Library are located in the
Parliament House.
The Library of the Faculty of Actuaries is kept in the Standard
Life Assurance Company's office, 3, George sireet. Io was
established in 1856. It contains, besides a. large collection of
pamphlets, 1,200 volumes exclusively professional and for reference.
The library is maintained by an annual grant from the Faculty.
The use and privilege of the library is given to all matriculated
students of the Faculty of Actuaries and to the members of the
Actuarial Socieiy in Edinburgh.
The Edinburgh Literary Institute, South Clerk street, was opened
in 1872. Its object was to provide reading for the inhabitants of
the southern districts of the eity. The library contains 8,000 vol-
umes, and is supported by the annual subscriptions of the readers.
The Edinburgh Subscription Library, 25, George street, was
instituted in 1794. Irs object was to provide a good supply of
general literature. It contains about 40,000 volumes, and is
supported by shares and the annual subscriptions of its members.
The Edinburgh Mechanics' Subscription Ltbrary, Victoria terrace,
was instituted in 1825, and its special objei t was to provide at a
cheap rate an extensive collection of books, in the general litera-
ture of the country, including the most popular works on science.
It is maintained by a small entrance share and an annual
subscription from the members.
The Royal College of Physicians was incorporated by charter in
1081. The hall, which is in Queen street, contains a library of
about 26,000 volumes and a museum of materia medica.
The lioyal College of Surgeons was incorporated in 1778, and is
possessed of a most valuable museum ; the bequest of Dr. Barclay's,
and the purchase of Mr. Bell's, in addition to what has been
otherwise acquired, have rendered their collection of anatomical
preparations perhaps unequalled in Great Britain. The hall is in
Nicolson street, and is a noble edifice in the Grecian style, with
a portico in front, supported by fluted Ionic columns. It was
erected in 1833, at a cost of £20,000.
The Royal Medical Society, 7, Melbourne place, numbprs about
80 members, but there are life members all over the world. The
library contains 20,000 volumes, chiefly medical literature and
allied sciences, for the use of members o'nly.
The Philosophical Institution, Queen street, was originally
established in 1832 as the Edinburgh Philosophical Association.
It was reorganized in 1840 under its present constitution,
embracing three separate departments— (1) the newsroom, (2) the
library and reading room, and (3) popular lectures on subjects of
general interest. The present newsroom was erected in 1851.
The daily supply of newspapers includes all the more important
London, provincial, foreign, and colonial journals. The library
contains 30,000 volumes, including a valuable collection of book's
of reference. The institute is supported solely by the contribu-
tions of the members and subscribers, of whom there are 3,400.
The lioyal (Dick's) Veterinary College, Clyde street, was founded
by the late Professor Dick in 1823. Previous to that date, no
institution devoted to the teaching of the veterinary
science existed in Scotland; nor was any veterinary degree
obtainable in Great Britain or Ireland. In tbe year mentioned,
the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, considering
the desirability of promoting instruction in veterinary subjects,
came to an agreement with Professor Dick, under which the
present institution was founded. The undertaking was from the
outset attended with marked success ; the number of students
rapidly increased, and in the year 1827 a Board of Examiners was
appointed by the Highland and Agricultural Society. Students
who, after a prescribed period of attendance at the College, were'
able to satisfy the examiners of their proficiency, received
a certificate setting forth that they were qualified to
practise the veterinary art. In the year 1844 tbe Royal
College of Veterinary Surgeons was incorporated by Eoval
Charter, and under the charter of incorporation Professor Dick's
College was affiliated to it. From the year 1S48 two separate and
distinct examining boards existed, viz.. 1st, that appointed, as
formerly, by the Highland and Agricultural S^iety, conferring
tbe Veterinary Certiticate; the 2nd, that appointed by the Royal
College of Veterinary Surgeons, granting the diploma of that
body. The course ot study requisite to obtain these degrees was in
each case almost identical , and students could become candidates for
either or both. Professor Dick constantly developed the resources
of the College, Cowards imparting a sound theoretical combined
with an extensive practical knowledge, and his efforts were
rewarded by the widespread fame of the institution. In 186K
Professor Dick died, having achieved more than any other single
individual towards rescuing from obscurity the position "of
veterinary science in this country. At his death he endowed the
Royal Veterinary College, which now bears his name ; and
bequeathed it in trust to the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Town
Council of the City of Edinburgh. It is the only endowed
Veterinary School in Great Britain. During Professor Dick's life-
time, and since his death, the College has educated upwards of
1,000 veterinary surgeons. By the recent death of Miss Dick,
sister of the founder of the College, and the consequent increase of
tbe College revenues, the trustees hope that thev will shortly be
able to offer greatly enhanced educational advantages to students
attending the College Recently an agreement has been concluded
between the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland and
the Royal College ot Veterinary Surgeons, under which the exam-
inations hitherto held by the Society are discontinued; ennse- I
quently, o dy one degree in veterinary medicine and surgery is
now obtainable in Great Britain and Ireland, viz., the diploma of
the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Candidates on obtain-
ing the degree become members of the Royal College of Vettr- ,
inary Surgeons.
The Aeit Veterinary College, in Leith walk, has been erected
specially for the education of veterinary students. It contains
lee ure, reading, and waiting rooms, He, and is provided with
horse boxes, dog kennels, &e.
The lioyal Institution- arose in 1819, and was incorporated in ',
1827, for the encouragement of the fine arts. The apartments of |
the institution are in a magniheent building, situated on tbe
north end of the Earthen Mound, in Princes street ; it is from a >
design by Playfair, and is of the Doric order, with fluted columns
ranging on each side ; in the front is a third range, supporting a
pediment, on which is now placed a statue of the Queen, by
Steell. The building, which was commenced in 1823, cost £40,000.
It contains a sculpture gallery of casts, a school of art, the rooms
of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Board of Manufactures,
the Fishery Board, and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland,
and also the museum and library of that society, which latter
contains about 9,000 volumes, chiefly relatng to the archaeology
of Scotland. '1'he museum is now the property of the nation, and
very rich in objects of interest.
The National Gallery is immediately south of the Royal
Institution, on the Earthen Mound ; it was built in 1850-54, at a
cost of £40,000, and is a building of the Ionic order, from a design
by Mr. Playfair. There are' two suites of octagonal rooms ;
the western contains the Kational Gallery of painting and
sculpture, in which, besides specimens of the old masters, are
some admirable works of more recent painters ; the eastern is
used for the annual exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy,
which is one of the great attractions of lhe city during the
months of March, Aprif, and May. In this building may be seen
Flaxman's beautiful statue of Robert Burns.
The Society of Arts, which was incorporated in 1822, and has
since obtained the royal charter, is very efficient in the encourage-
ment of useful inventions, models of which are exhibited at its
meetings, These are held once a fortnight in their hall, below
the Assembly Rooms, George street .
The Scottish Geographical Society, 80A, Princes street, was
founded with the object of popularising and diffusing geographi-
cal knowledge in Scotland.
The Royal Botanic Garden and Arboretum of Edinburgh occupies
a fine position on the north side of the town, and has its entrance
from Inverleith row. The main entrance to the arboretum is at
the west side, and can be approached by Stockbridge. This
garden, of which the professor of botany in the University is
regius keeper, is one of the oldest in the kingdom, having been
founded in 1070. Since then it has undergone many changes, i
both as to situation and extent, to accommodate it to the require- I
ments of the Edinburgh Botanical School, which is the largest
in the kingdom. The garden embraces an area of 27 Scotch acres,
and is especially adapted for the purposes of tuition. It includes
a pinetum, a herbarium, and a winter garden, a special room
provided with microscopes for the pursuit of histological botany,
a class museum, and various ranges of hot houses and green
houses. The palm house is 100 feet in length. 57 in breadth, and
72 feet in height. Tbe class-room of the professor of botany,_the
museum, and the house of the curator are situated at the right
hand side of the entrance. Admission is obtained to the garden
The Royal Observatory and Astronomical Institution. — After
several ineffectual attempts to erect an observatory, the founda-
tion stone was laid on the. Calton Hill in 1776 ; and the
money subscribed being insufficient, tbe work was completed in
1792 at the expense of the city. The AstronomiCTl Institution was
established in 1812, and the Town Council granted to the associ-
ation the ground and building on the Calton Hill , formerly destined
for the purposes of an observatory, on the condition of their not
being applied to any other purposes. The property was originally
held in transferable sbarts, of twenty-five guineas each, but now
entirely belongs to the Government. The Observatory is under
tbe charge of the Professor of Astronomy in the University, who
receives a salary from Government, and is Astronomer Royal for
Scotland. A salary is also paid to an assistant. A regular series
of observations is published yearly. The new Observatory, erected
by the Astronomical Institution, from a design by Playfair, a little
to the east of tbe former, was founded in 1818 : it is a cross, each
branch of which is 62 feet long, with four projecting pediments of
28 feet each, supported by six columns of the Doric order, front-
ing tbe four cardinal points of the compass. In the centre is a
dome, thirteen feet in diameter, under which is a pillar of solid
masonry, of a conical form, six feet in diameter at the base, and
nineteen feet high, intended for the astronomical circle. Con-
nected with the Observatory is a time-ball, which, being con-
spicuously elevated on a tall pole on the summit of the Calton
Hill, falls, in consequence of the action of the electricity, exactly
at one o'clock p.m. Greenwich time. A wire from the Observatory
conveys the electric spavk to the Castle, and at the same moment
discharges a gun in one of the batteries daily, except on Sundays.
The time-ball was in use fora number of years before thetime-gun,
which has now also been in use for several years. Both are highly
prized in Edinburgh and in Leith.
The Watt Institute and School of Art was begun in 1825,
and was situated in Adam square. The present school, in
Chambers street, was erected in 1872-3, after designs by David
Rhind. The porch is surmounted by the statue of James Watt,
which stood in Adam square. It has a library of about 2,500
volumes, chiefly scientific and technical, intended for tbe use of
the students attending the classes taught in tbe institution.

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence