Scottish History Society
The Scottish History Society is a text publication society founded in 1886, as part of the late 19th-century revival in interest in Scottish national identity. The Society was founded as a result of a letter from the Earl of Rosebery (later to serve as Prime Minister, from 1894–95), published in The Scotsman on 3 February 1886, and Rosebery became the first President of the Society.
The first president of the Society defined its work as "the humble and unobtrusive task of letting everyman know, in so far as in us lies, and so far as documentary evidence exists, how our forebears lived and worked and carried on the business of their country in their separate spheres."
The Society has a council of scholars representing most of the universities in Scotland and some beyond, as well as other institutions.
History of the society
The Scottish History Society was founded with the object of discovery and publication, under selected editorship, of unpublished documents illustrative of the civil, religious, and social history of Scotland.
The first publications, in October 1887, were Bishop Pococke's Tours in Scotland, 1747-1760, edited by D W Kemp, and the Diary of and General Expenditure Book of William Cunningham of Craigends, 1673–1680, edited by the Reverend James Dodds, D.D.
By 1900, 65 Public Libraries subscribed for the society's publications. Amongst some of its notable members have been Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyon King of Arms, and Emeritus Professor David Masson, Historiographer Royal for Scotland.
Since its foundation the SHS has produced an increasing number of vital records hitherto unavailable to scholars of Scottish history, and in this the SHS have provided an invaluable service to the nation.
President of the society
In 1900, the President was the Earl of Rosebery. In 1970, the President was Professor Gordon Donaldson. Other Presidents have included the novelist and politician John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir and Dr Jenny Wormald. The current president is Professor Roger Mason of the University of St Andrews.