British History . History . Politics, Philosophy and Religion . Religion . Religious History . Scottish History . Scottish Studies

The Innes Review Turns 70

By John Reuben Davies

Read the editorial introduction from The Innes Review: 70th Anniversary Virtual Collection, which is free to access on our site and contains over 40 free articles spanning 70 years of the The Innes Review‘s history.


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The Innes Review has a long journey ahead before it reaches the venerable age of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, ‘the world’s first and longest-running scientific journal’, published continuously since 1665. The completion of seven decades of uninterrupted publication, however, is still an achievement to be marked and celebrated, especially since it makes The Innes Review the oldest and longest-running journal of Catholic history in the United Kingdom.

What follows in this special seventieth-anniversary online issue is the Editor’s personal selection of articles from the whole span of publication, right up to volume 70, his choice aided by members of the Editorial Board and the Council. To introduce this compilation, Kieran D. Taylor provides a view from the latest generation of Scottish Catholic historians about the significance of the journal’s contribution to Scottish Catholic history since the first issue appeared in 1950.

The Scottish Catholic Historical Association continues to provide the infrastructure and network that, in collaboration with Edinburgh University Press Journals, allows The Innes Review to be published on time twice a year. The resources of EUP also allow for a special edition, such as this, which would be impractical and uneconomic in hard copy, to be published on line.

For seven decades, The Innes Review has provided a venue for the publication of the most significant work relating to the history of Catholic Scotland. For the period before 1560, the editors have traditionally taken a very wide view of what constitutes ‘Scottish Catholic history’ – if it relates to Scotland before the protestant reformation, then it has generally been considered part of Scottish Catholic history. After 1560, there is a sharper focus on themes that relate more specifically to Catholics and the Catholic Church in Scotland as well as to Scottish Catholics abroad. We have always treated the term ‘history’ broadly too, and articles covering archaeology, architecture, art, bibliography, biography, literature, liturgy, music and philosophy are frequently to be found in our pages. More recently, we have started to carry reports on important research projects, and the Book Reviews (which are all open access in the online version) provide a lively and comprehensive view of the surrounding scholarly terrain.

Flexibility is another factor in The Innes Review’s success, and the editors have often been prepared, where the subject has demanded it, to publish articles that might otherwise be the length of a short monograph. On the other hand, some of its shorter research notes have provided the stimulus for important scholarly breakthroughs, and its bibliographical articles are significant works of reference.

As the landscape and morphology of academic publishing alters and shifts, The Innes Review continues to thrive. The editorial team – the Editor, Assistant Editor, Reviews Editor, and Editorial Board – in collaboration with the production team at EUP Journals, meanwhile stands firm in its commitment to bring out a twice-yearly publication that demonstrates the importance of the traditional learned journal – with its added value and polishing processes of peer review, editing and professional production – as a forum for the dissemination of the highest quality scholarship – a journal that can continue for many decades, and even centuries, to come.


The Innes Review is the journal of the Scottish Catholic Historical Association. Read the free virtual issue, which is available until September 2021.

The journal promotes the study of the history of Catholic Scotland, covering all aspects and topics related to Scottish history and culture, including but not limited to: ecclesiastical, cultural, liturgical, architectural, literary and political history from earliest times to the present day. Find out more about this journal, including how to sign up for Table of Contents alerts, how to subscribe, or recommend to your librarian.

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