Founded in 1886, the Scottish History Society is the leading publisher of original sources relating to the history of Scotland.
The 1880s saw a strong revival of interest in all things Scottish, the identity of the nation, its past and its future.
One of the most influential figures in this revival was Archibald Primrose, the Earl of Rosebery, the Liberal MP and Prime Minister. He played a major part in the creation of the office of Secretary for Scotland as a first step in administrative devolution.
The Scottish History Society was founded as the result of a suggestion Rosebery made in a letter published in 'The Scotsman' newspaper.
Rosebery had a deep interest in Scottish history. As the society's first President, he 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.
Alongside the society's Council, Rosebery oversaw the publication of numerous volumes covering the whole span of Scottish history. The society has continued this work into the 21st century, publishing one volume per year, although often more.