This programme will bring to fruition a transformative programme of archive and object cataloguing, preservation, conservation, digitisation, interpretation, public engagement and research around the most internationally significant Earth Science collection in the world – the Sir Charles Lyell Collection. The programme of conservation, cataloguing, digitisation and transcription will facilitate broad and meaningful access to the collections and will furnish collections based research, including embedded funded PhD studentships, post-doctoral research fellow, digital scholarship, internships and student experiences. A further aim is to virtually reunite this collection with related holdings from other institutions wherever possible.

The objectives are to create a full catalogue to professional standards of the entire collection; ensure the long-term preservation and digitisation readiness of the collections; to digitise the collections; to develop and maintain an online resource on which to make linked content accessible (linking digital content, catalogue descriptions, transcriptions and published texts); to virtually reunite Lyell collections held by the University of Edinburgh and other institutions via the online resource; to develop and implement an education and outreach programme which connects meaningfully with the University of Edinburgh’s communities, and places the story of earth science in Scotland on the curricula; to develop and cultivate an active network of researchers with an interest in Lyell and his network, and to firmly establish the Centre for Research Collections and the University of Edinburgh as the leading world centre for Lyell related studies.

We will engage with academic and broader audiences through a programme of targeted events. We will establish and cultivate relationships with key partner organisations, including those holding related collections, and develop an innovative public engagement programme to demonstrate the relevance of these collections to society and community, particularly in relation to climate change and earth science. 

The programme is supported and guided by a knowledgeable and experienced advisory board, made up of a range of internal and external academics, as well as a number of directors of Earth Science and related collections from across the United Kingdom.   


Strategic oversight of the Sir Charles Lyell Collection (collections management, access and engagement):   Daryl Green Head of Special Collections/Deputy Head of Centre for Research Collections daryl.green@ed.ac.uk Tel: 0131 650 6864  

To discuss how support is making the collections accessible, please contact: David McClay Philanthropy Manager, Library & University Collections Development and Alumni david.mcclay@ed.ac.uk Tel: 07815903725 / 0131 650 2886 / 0131 650 6309

Code RAG RAG Date Manager Status Stage
LUC039 Through Lyell's Eyes - Conservation GREEN July 2021 Elaine MacGillivray Not Started Plan
LUC061 Lyell Cataloguing Project GREEN June 2021 Elaine MacGillivray In Progress Execute
LUC062 Lyell Engagement Project GREEN July 2021 Daryl Green Not Started Initiate
LUC063 Charles Lyell’s World Online GREEN July 2021 Daryl Green In Progress Initiate


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