EUP 75: Our Publishing in Scottish Studies

Discover the story of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University Press – the first publications, the books that changed the field and what you can expect to see in future

by Ersev Ersoy

Our Scottish Studies list has always been an integral part of Edinburgh University Press. We have an eclectic portfolio with topics ranging from archaeology to art, philosophy to law, politics to literature. Our high-quality Scottish history books are at the heart of our publishing, exploring the cultural landscape of Scotland from the earliest times to the present. Our Scottish Studies journals contribute greatly to our position as the leading publisher of Scottish academic content.  

We are committed to publishing pioneering works by leading figures in the field, impactful research and prize-winning books which truly stand the test of time. George E. Davie’s The Democratic Intellect (1961) is a cornerstone work on Scotland’s intellectual identity and books on Scottish education remain key to our publishing today. 

G. W. S. Barrow’s Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland (1965) and A. A. M Duncan’s The Kingship of the Scots, 842-1292 (2002), continue to be indispensable guides to understanding Scotland’s complex history. Today, our growing collection of books on Scottish medieval history advances this tradition of presenting thoughtful, incisive and accessible scholarship.

Publishing deeply researched books with an aesthetic flair has always been important to us. A. J. Youngson’s The Making of Classical Edinburgh (1966) brings to life one of the most remarkable urban expansion programmes ever undertaken. Our 2019 edition is richly illustrated with new photographs by Edwin Smith and takes the modern reader on a fascinating journey through the streets of Edinburgh. New illustrated books on visual and material cultures of Scotland are on the horizon. 

Our Scottish Studies list was revitalised in the mid-90s by John Davey who joined the commissioning team. He was an important figure in the development of the list, ensuring a steady flow of new books on Scottish history and culture. He commissioned the highly-influential New Edinburgh History of Scotland series, which explores the development of Scotland as a political entity through the ages. Loyal followers of the series will be happy to know that the remaining three volumes in this ten-volume collection are in the pipeline. We are proud to have published The New Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women (2006; 2018), edited by Elizabeth Ewan, Rose Pipes, Jane Rendall, and Siân Reynolds. This significant reference work was the inspiration behind our new Scottish Women Making History book series, which explores the lives of remarkable Scottish women.

Front cover of the book 'Chrystal Macmillan, 1872-1937' featuring a black and white portrait of Chrystal Macmillan.

Our current output reflects and builds on this solid foundation. Our Histories of the Scottish Atlantic and Studies in British and Irish Migration series provide a much-needed platform to promote better understanding of the present-day legacies of the histories of empire, colonisation and contemporary migration. A cross-journal special feature bringing together critical thinking on race and racism in Scotland is due to be released this year; and selected articles and chapters on the topic from across our books and journals can be read in our Scottish Diaspora Virtual Issue.

In addition to our monographs, reference works and textbooks, we also publish books intended for a broader readership. Some of our recent favourites include: 

  • David Alston, Slaves and Highlanders (2021)Saltire Scottish Book of the Year 2022.
  • Neil S. Millar, Early Golf (2022) awarded the Murdoch Medal by the British Golf Collectors’ Society (BCGS) 2023.
  • Emma Bond & Michael Morris, Scotland’s Transnational Heritage (2022) – emphasises Scotland’s role as a transnational agent in networks of empire and colonialism. 

We are excited to be working with scholars across the world as we continue to develop an outward-focused, inclusive list with a contemporary critical edge. We are forming collaborations with cultural institutions in Scotland, including Edinburgh College of Art, National Museums Scotland and The Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture to support mutual learning and to promote a vibrant and diverse research culture.

Our most recent and forthcoming books give a flavour of the fresh and exciting direction of the field: 

* With thanks to Ewen Cameron, Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish History and Palaeography, University of Edinburgh and the former Chair of the EUP Press committee, for his help in tracing how Scottish Studies emerged as a list within EUP and for providing a photo of the special edition of Davie’s book. 


About Ersev Ersoy

A headshot of Ersev Ersoy in front of a bookcase

Ersev Ersoy is a Commissioning Editor at Edinburgh University Press. She commissions in Scottish Studies and Politics.

You can contact her at ersev.ersoy@eup.ed.ac.uk

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