A glass jar containing newspapers, maps and pictures was discovered behind the brickwork of a building about to be demolished to make way for the new Royal Victoria Building.
The jar was sealed 97 years ago to mark the building of a children’s home costing £7,180 for Craigleith Hospital and Poorhouse.
This went on to become the site of the modern-day Western General Hospital.
Alistair Johnston, Laing O’Rourke project leader, told the BBC: “We are all really excited. The guys were working as normal when one of them noticed papers sticking out of the stone. They started to investigate and realised what they had found.
“It was a large glass bottle filled with lots of old newspapers, maps and pictures.
“We picked it out of the earth and the rubble while trying to keep it as intact as possible. But we knew straight away it was really old.”
Copies of three different newspapers were then slid inside the bottle, along with a signed diary and a copy of the ceremony’s order of service, which included speeches and hymns.
A map of Edinburgh and minutes from a meeting granting planning permission were also sealed inside.
The collection will now be added into the health archive and the replicas are set to be put on display in the new Royal Victoria Building when it is complete in 2012.