Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland is the senior antiquarian body in Scotland, with its headquarters, collections, archive, and lecture theatre in the Royal Museum, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. The Society plays an important role in the cultural life and heritage of Scotland.


The Society was established in 1780, incorporated by Royal Charter in 1783 and is the oldest antiquarian society in Scotland, and the second-oldest in Britain.


As an archaeological and learned society it was formed for the purpose of studying the history of Scotland as set out in the first of its Laws: ".... the Study of the Antiquities and History of Scotland, more especially by means of archaeological research"; the Society today is concerned with every aspect of the human past in Scotland.

It draws on a wide range of experience through the Fellowship, and provides an impartial voice independent of the opinions of Government, University, or Agency. The Society is consulted by a wide range of organisations from central government to academic funding bodies such as the Arts & Humanities Research Council. The Society makes written responses to numerous consultations, some jointly with the Council for Scottish Archaeology (CSA) and the Scottish Group of the Institute of Field Archaeology. The Society works closely with the Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland, and has given evidence to their working groups on heritage protection legislation and properties in care. The Society is also been actively involved in the Built Environment Forum Scotland, an umbrella body for NGOs in the built and historic environment sectors.


It has an international membership of around 3500 Fellows and 25 Honorary Fellows. Admission to the Society is by election and candidates must be proposed and seconded by existing Fellows. The names of those seeking admission are then circulated to the whole Fellowship. Elections are held annually on St Andrews Day, 30th November. Fundamental to being a candidate for election to the Fellowship is an interest or involvement in historical studies. Candidates are advised of the outcome of the election shortly after the ballot. Fellowship is regarded as a sign of recognition as an established scholar.

ponsorship of research

A major part of the Society's programme is the sponsorship of research, and there are various grants and awards to assist different kinds of work, from survey and excavation to finds analysis and archival research. The entrance fees paid by new Fellows on election to the Society are invested to help increase the Research Fund.

A list of Society grants and awards can be found here: []


The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland has three main publishing branches:

- Books (previously known as monographs) covering a wide variety of topics in the history and archaeology of Scotland. []

- The Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a yearly peer-reviewed journal covering the latest archaeological research in Scotland. The Society has made the entire run of the Proceedings (back to the 18th century) freely available on the internet. []

- Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports (SAIR) is a peer-reviewed online publication that includes larger and more data-rich projects. It is freely accessible without subscription or payment. []

There is also a regular Society 'Newsletter', ISSN|0960-703X, and the Society publishes book reviews on their website.

ee also

*Society of Antiquaries of London
* Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne []

External links

* [ Official website]

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