History of Edinburgh

The books below are listed in publication date order.

1.     The Curiosities Natural and Artificial in the Island of Great Britain:  Vol 5

 Printed for proprietors and sold by R Snagg, 129 Fleet Street, London 1775

2.    New Guide to the City of Edinburgh

This book contains a description of all the Public Buildings and a concise history of the City from the earliest periods to the present time - embellished with elegant engravings of the Principal Public Buildings.

Printed for and sold by Thomas Brown, Edinburgh  1790

3.  The Traveller's Companion through the City of Edinburgh and Suburbs

Printed for and sold by Alexander Kincaid 1794

4.    The New Picture of Edinburgh

being an accurate guide to the City and environs with Historical Descriptive Accounts of the Public Buildings, offices, institutions, curiosities, amusements, etc. embellished with six views on copper, two large plans and upwards of forty vignettes on wood
Printed by Denovan for William Hunter

5.    Edinburgh Delineated

Views of the Principal Public Buildings, Streets and Scenes of the Scottish Metropolis.

Publ: John Hamilton, Edinburgh  + Simpson & Marshall, London,  c.1825

This booklet includes 32 drawings by Ewbank, engraved by H Lizars.  I particularly like nos. 12, 14, 20, 24, 29 and 31.

6.    Edinburgh Tourist Itinerary

Printed by ..?.. for ..?.., 372 pages - some interesting small oval engravings, 18??

7.    McDowall's New Guide in Edinburgh

 with numerous copper-plate engravings  Publ: T&W McDowall, Edinburgh c.1840

8.    The Edinburgh Tourist and Itinerary

Guide to Edinburgh and Vicinity

John Willox - Publ: WH Lizars, London, 1844

9.   The Scottish Tourist's Picturesque Guide to Edinburgh & Environs

Edited:  William Rhind.  This book has some interesting engravings.   1846/7

10.   Photographs of Edinburgh with descriptive letterpress
 by JM Ballantyne

Includes 13 photographs by Burns  Publ: Glasgow, London, Dublin   1860s?

11. The Ceremony of Laying the Foundation Stone of the New North Bridge

Edinburgh 25 May 1866  Printed & Published  1866

12.  Picturesque "Bits" from Old Edinburgh

This book was produced in two different formats.  It has fifteen original albumen photographs by Archibald Burns tipped in, and a descriptive and historical notes by Thomas Henderson  

Published by Edmonston & Douglas, Edinburgh + Simpkin Marshall & Co, London    1868

13.  Notes on the Early History of the Royal Scottish Academy

George Harvey         Publ: Edinburgh, Edmonston & Douglas   1873

14.  Scotland of To-day and Edinburgh its Capital  [ST]

Historical Publishing Co, 1890

15.  Old and New Edinburgh 

-  3 Volumes, or sometimes 6 volumes, originally issued in installments.

  James Grant  -  Publ: Cassell & Co, London, Paris, New York, c.1890

16.  A Descriptive Account of Edinburgh  [EI]

Robinson, Son & Pike,  1893

17.  Benjie's Guide to Edinburgh and Vicinity

with 47 illustrations 
Eighteenth Edition:  Duncan Macara, 6 & 8, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh

18.  Edinburgh in the Nineteenth Century    [EC19]

WM Gilbert, editor - Publ: J&R Allan Ltd, Edinburgh, 1901

An edited reprint of this book was published by Lang Syne Publishers Ltd, Glasgow in 1989 [ISBN:  185217 190 1] under the title:

 "The Capital Diaries: 1800 to 1900  -  Edinburgh Life in the Nineteenth Century"

19.  Industries Art Commerce Century XX   [IA]

Biographical Publishing Company - c.1904

20.  Edinburgh As It Was

A selection of photos from the Edinburgh Public Library Collection

21.  Book of the Old Edinburgh Club

Vol 9,  p.79  Edinburgh Engravers  Author: John C Guy    1916

Vol 14  p.121 Some Inns of the Eighteenth Century  Author: James H Jamieson   1925

I expect to find more to add to this web site in other volumes of the Book of the Old Edinburgh Club.  Over almost a hundred years of publication it includes a wealth of information.

Volume 1 of the Old Edinburgh Club was published in 1909.

Further volumes were issued at regular intervals, reaching Volume 20 in 1935.

The issues became less frequent in later years.

Volumes 33 to 35 was issued in parts from 1966 to 1985.

A new series began in 1991.

The most recent edition is New Series Volume 5 (2002).

22.  The Royal Mile

Publ.  Oliver & Boyd,  Edinburgh & London,    Author: Robert T Skinner    1928

This book includes details of many of the Royal Mile closes, with almost 40 small photographs and illustrations, most of the old closes.  These include some small black and white illustrations of coloured lithographs.  The book also includes a good map of the Edinburgh closes.

23.  Prints and Drawings of Edinburgh

R Buchart  -  Publ: ..?.., 19??

24.  The Port of Leith

Publ. for  Leith Chamber of Commerce, comp.& arr. by Arch Carswell, Secretary   1937

This book has a half-page introduction in each of thirteen European languages and also in Esperanto. It includes a brief history of Leith Docks and details of shipping in 1937.   (The book can be consulted at Leith Library).

25.  Vanishing Edinburgh

CS Minto  -  Publ: BT Batsford, 1973

26.  History and Derivation of Edinburgh Street Names

Charles B Boog Watson and others - Edinburgh Corporation, 1975

27.  Wardie School  1931-1981

A booklet produced by Wardie Parents' Association to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the school.  A copy of this booklet was presented to each pupil attending the school in September 1981.       1981

28.  The Buildings of Scotland:  Edinburgh

John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker  -  Medieval Buildings by Christopher Wilson      [ISBN 0 14 0710 68X]

Publ. Penguin Books -  in association with the National Trust for Scotland.   1984

I have found this to be a very useful reference book.  It has over 700 pages of detailed information on the architecture of many of Edinburgh's buildings, including photographs, drawings and maps.

29.  The Kirks of Edinburgh

The Congregations, Churches and Ministers of the Presbytery of Edinburgh Church of Scotland, 1560-1984  [Ian Dunlop]

Publ:  Scottish Record Society, New Series 15 & 16, 1984

Edinburgh has many churches.  There have been many new buildings, amalgamations, dissolutions, etc.  This book helps to identify the history of some of these churches.  Even with the help of the book, the story is not always straightforward!

30.  A Wee Look at Old Leith

Ian Dick, published by Persevere Publications, 12 Leith Walk  1985
Available on loan from Corstorphine LIbrary
: 85 19999 05

This is a small book of 30 pages but it includes some interesting photos:
-  work horses in Henderson Street and other photos of Leith streets
-  several groups of Leith workers and Leith sports teams.

31.  The National Gallery of Scotland

Ian Gow & Timothy Clifford - Publ: Trustees of National Galleries of Scotland, 1988

32.  Edinburgh - An Illustrated Architectural Guide   ISBN 0 9501462 4 2

Charles McKean  - Publ:  RIAS Publications, Edinburgh, 1992

This book includes many photographs of Edinburgh's buildings, with dates, names of the architects and comments on the buildings' architectural styles and features.

Several editions of this book have been produced (with the same ISBN number.  I have one copy (1992) with 120 pages and another copy (undated) with 236 pages.

33.  Edinburgh's Transport - The Early Years   ISBN 1-873644 -02-7

DLG Hunter  - Publ: James Thin, The Mercat Press, 1992

This is one of several books on Scottish transport written by DGL Hunter, who retired in 1973 after a long career in engineering and transport.   If you want to know the workman's fare on an Edinburgh horse-drawn tram in 1871, or the colour coding of the tram routes in 1894, or the road-markings in the cobble-stones to indicate to cable-car drivers "cable changeover: leave by gravity" then this is the book to read  [See pp. 17, 70-22, 101]

Other books covering Edinburgh's road and rail transport, written by the same author are:

    -  Edinburgh Tramways Album
    -  Edinburgh Transport -The Corporation Years

34.  The Tramways of Eastern Scotland   ISBN 0-948106 -25-5

JC Gillham and RJS Wiseman -  Publ: Light Rail Transit Association,   no date

This booklet gives details of the operating companies, vehicles used, lengths of route operated and first and last dates of operation.

35.  Edinburgh in Old Picture Post Cards  -  The Old Town  [EOPPC]

Donald Lindgren:  European Library, 1994

36.  Historic South Edinburgh  [SE]

Charles J Smith

This is one of several books on South Edinburgh written by the local historian, Charles Smith, an authority on the area.  More recently it is Malcolm Cant who has followed up with more books on the area and on other aspects of Edinburgh.

Charles Smith died in October 2006.  Shortly before his death, a plaque dedicated to him was unveiled in Maxwell Street where he was born and brought up.  He was too ill to unveil the plaque himself but was delighted to know that it had been installed.

37.  Place Names of Edinburgh   ISBN 1-904246 06 0

Stuart Harris, 1996

This book has a wealth of information on the origins of the names of streets, villages and other locations in and around Edinburgh.  An enormous amount of work must have gone into compiling the book.  A lot of time could be spent enjoyably browsing through this book.

38.  Edinburgh's Transport - The Corporation Years   ISBN 1-874422 -23-0

DLG Hunter  - Publ: Adam Gordon, 1999

This is a sequel to Edinburgh Transport - The Early Years.

It gives a comprehensive well illustrated coverage of Edinburgh's road transport during the period 1919-1975 - excluding the later years of SMT's bus services which are covered in a separate book.

39.  Muttonhole  

Robert Brown, 2000

This book is available on loan from Corstorphine Library, Edinburgh: [YDA2526]

Muttonhole was the old name for the village three miles to the west of the centre of Edinburgh, now named Davidson's Mains, a suburb of Edinburgh.  The full title of this book is "Life in North-West Edinburgh - Muttonhole - at the hub of the former greater parish of Cramond."

I found some interesting street scenes and railway scenes in this book, particularly on pages 24-7, 33-4, 46-7, 75, 109 and 115.  Some of these might make interesting additions to the EdinPhoto web site but I've not (yet) requested permission to use them.

40.  Stranger on the Shore - A Short History of Granton   ISBN 1-902831-535]

James Gracie  - Publ: Argyll Publishing, 2003

This book was published to record and illustrate some of the history of Granton at a time when much of the area was about to be redeveloped as part of the Edinburgh Waterfront project.

41 Edinburgh Shops  Past and Present   ISBN 0 9526099 8 3    NEW

Malcolm Cant  - Publ: Malcolm Cant Publications, 2005

This is one of several books on Edinburgh published by Malcolm Cant.

The book covers the history of Edinburgh shops, including both elegant department stores, Jenners, Patrick Thomsons, Binns and some of the smaller specialist shops.  The book is illustrated with over 200 photographs.

42 Edinburgh People At Work and Leisure   ISBN 0 9526099 9 1    NEW

Malcolm Cant  - Publ: Malcolm Cant Publications, 2006

This is one of several books on Edinburgh published by Malcolm Cant.

This is the second book in the 'Pictorial Edinburgh Series'.

It follows the format of Edinburgh Shops  Past and Present, published in 2005.   It is well illustrated in black and white and colour, and includes background research into many of the photos.

43 Edinburgh Old Town   ISBN 978 0 7524 4083 5    NEW

Susan Varga     Publ. Tempus, 2006

This book describes and illustrates the Old Town of Edinburgh, with over two hundred photos from the collection held by Edinburgh Central Library (Edinburgh Room).  Views include:

-  The Castle from Grassmarket, Johnstone Terr, Greyfriars, and elsewhere

-  Horse Fair  and Street Ventriloquist in the Grassmarket

-  Lamplighter and Street Sweeper in Victoria Terrace

-  Fish Sellers in the Lawnmarket

-  Children in High Street courts and closes

-  Leith Wynd, St Mary's Wynd, other old streets and houses

The photographers include:

Thomas Begbie

Archibald Burns

Francis M Chrystal

Hill & Adamson

Alexander A Inglis

Thomas Keith

James Good Tunny

44 Edinburgh New Town    ISBN 978 0 7524 4363 8    NEW

Susan Varga   Publ. Tempus, 2007

This book describes and illustrates the New Town of Edinburgh, with over two hundred photos, mainly from the collection held by Edinburgh Central Library (Edinburgh Room).  Views include:

-  Building the Scott Monument, North Bridge and the North British Hotel

-  Horse drawn vehicles , trams, charabancs and railways

-  Processions, shops and houses and picture house in Princes Street

-  Horse-drawn cabs and penny farthing cyclists in George Street

-  Banks, statues and monument in St Andrew Square

The photographers include:

Thomas Begbie

Archibald Burns

Francis M Chrystal

J Campbell Harper

Alexander A Inglis

James Good Tunny

George Washington Wilson




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