About the Medievalists

About the Scottish Medievalists
Detail from the Lang facsimile edition of Sir David Lyndsay’s 1542 Heraldic Manuscript.

The Scottish Medievalists (Society of Scottish Medieval and Renaissance Studies) aim to promote interest in, and to further knowledge of Scottish history, especially in the period before 1707. We aim to do this through the promotion of conferences, lectures and seminars, and the publication and promotion of works illustrative of these objectives. The society was formed in 1957, with about 14 members. Since then the society has grown and stands around the 200 mark. The Medievalists are a mix of established academics, archivists, professionals and students.

We hold an annual conference for members in January each year, usually held at the Westerwood Hotel in Croy.

As a professional society, any person may become a member of the society after proposal by two members of the society, election at a general meeting and payment of the appropriate subscription. Find out about our Members here.

Make a donation to the Society, or outstanding membership fees:


Chair: Professor Rhiannon Purdie, University of St Andrews

Treasurer: Dr Alan MacDonald, University of Dundee

Secretary: Dr Miles Kerr-Peterson

Past Chairs:

2018-2021: Thomas Owen Clancy

2015-2018: Jane Dawson

2012-2018: Jenny Wormald

2008-2012: Hector MacQueen

2004-2008: Sandy Grant

1999-2004: David Sellar

1997-1999: Barbara E. Crawford

1994-1997: Wilhelm Fritz Hermann Nicolaisen

1992-1994: Grant Simpson

1991: Athol Murray (following the death of I.B. Cowan)

1990: Ian Borthwick Cowan

1987-1989: Athol Murray

1984-1987: Geoffrey Barrow

1980-1983: Donald Elmslie Robertson Watt

1979 Adoption of a Formal Constitution. Prior to this the Medievalists were organised by the Secretary only.