Fire Damage to School of Informatics, 2002

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In December 2002, fire destroyed 80 South Bridge, which housed around one third of Edinburgh University's School of Informatics, resulting in the loss of its invaluable Artificial Intelligence Library.

The School of Informatics had been created in 1998 through the merger of the Department of Artificial Intelligence, Centre for Cognitive Science, Department of Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute, and Human Communication Research Centre.

The building at 80 South Bridge housed around 25% of the school's teaching and reaching facilities, including the Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications, the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute, and the Centre for Communications Interface Research. It was the primary base for around 100 members of staff and PhD students, and provided tutorial and laboratory space for over 300 Masters and undergraduate students.

The destruction of the Artificial Intelligence Library meant the loss of a unique collection of literature in a field where Edinburgh University has been widely recognized as a leader since the 1960s. Many researchers also lost personal archives, although more recent research data was largely stored electronically.

Staff and students were temporarily relocated to Appleton Tower. In 2008, the Informatics Forum was opened to bring all departments of the School of Informatics together under one roof.

Other University Events in 2002


  • Press Release, School of Informatics [[1], accessed 8 September 2014]