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About the Project

Principal John Tulloch, University of St Andrews, by John Adamson 1855. Image courtesy of University of St Andrews Library ALB-5-41
Principal John Tulloch, University of St Andrews, by John Adamson 1855. Image courtesy of University of St Andrews Library. ALB-5-41

This online edition of the University of St Andrews’ Biographical Register 1747-1897 has been produced by the University Library’s Digital Humanities and Research Computing teams.

The original data was compiled by Dr Robert N. Smart in his Biographical Register of the University of St Andrews (2004), and text from his introduction to the print version is reproduced here in the Sources, Historical background, Curriculum, and Bursaries pages of this website.

The painstaking work of tagging the data to convert it to searchable XML was undertaken between 2013 and 2016 by interns provided by the University’s Careers Service Summer Internship scheme: Emma Lewsley, Hrileena Ghosh and Siri Hjelsvold.

Developers in the Research Computing Team – Swithun Crowe, Patrick McCann and Mary Woodcock Kroble – created the website, prepared the data for text-encoding and provided extensive technical support at all stages.

The project was coordinated by Dr Alice Crawford, Senior Librarian (Digital Humanities and Research Computing).

We welcome feedback about the online Register and would be pleased to hear from you if you have further biographical information you think should be added to any of the entries, or if you think that any of the information given here may be wrong. We can be contacted at the University of St Andrews Library, email:

Searching the Database

You can search the database in many different ways. The Advanced Search Fields menu offers some suggestions, but other ways are possible. The database is free-text searchable, so keyword searches on any term you choose are likely to produce results.

e.g. Robert Adamson or Adamson, Robert

Birth Year
e.g. 1700-1709
This will retrieve a list of all students for whom a birth date between these years has been recorded.

Death Year
e.g. 1880-1889
This will retrieve a list of all students for whom a death date between these years has been recorded.

e.g. farmer etc.

A search for e.g. “farmer” will retrieve 581 records, and you can then filter these records further by years of birth and death, or by the start and end dates of the student’s time of study at the University if you know these.

We have added standardised tags for the following occupations:

Accountant, apparitor, artisan, artist, athlete, author, aviator, body snatcher, civil servant, composer, divinity student, doctor, editor, engineer, farmer, footballer, free mason, gardener, hotel proprietor, industrialist, inventor, Jesuit, journalist, lawyer, medical student, miner, missionary, minister, M.P., naval officer, nurse, novelist, opifex, playwright, poet, policeman, politician, preacher, rabbi, rugby player, soldier, stockbroker, teacher, theology student, thief, typefounder, university lecturer, university professor, vet, veterinarian.

of University of St Andrews Library ALB-4-16
Dr G E Day, University of St Andrews. Anon. 1855. Image courtesy of University of St Andrews Library. ALB-4-16

Childhood school
e.g. Madras College

Other universities attended
e.g. King’s College Aberdeen

Teaching hospitals attended

e.g. St Bartholomew’s hospital, St Thomas’s hospital, University College hospital, Guy’s hospital, St George’s hospital, St Mary’s hospital, Lane’s School of Medicine, Rotunda hospital, Richmond hospital, Charing Cross hospital, Steeven’s hospital, King’s College hospital, Western Medical School, Cecilia Street hospital


Search on any of the following degree names:
M.B. C.M.

Please enter degree names in the form above, with full-stops included. For further information on degrees awarded at St Andrews, see the Curriculum page.

Subjects studied

Searches for abbreviated forms of subject names will return lists of students studying each subject e.g. Jun. Lat. returns the students who studied Junior Latin, Gk. Jun. returns those studying Junior Greek, N. Phil. those studying Natural Philosophy, Eng. Lit. those studying English Literature etc.

We hope in due course to be able to produce a key to the abbreviations used for subject names, but meantime information about the subject names can be found on the Curriculum page.