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Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA Scot)

Society of Antiquaries of ScotlandThe Society of Antiquaries of SCOTLAND was founded in 1780 and it was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1783. It is the second oldest antiquarian society in Britain. The purpose of the Society is set out in the first of its Laws '...the Study of the Antiquitics 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.

The Society is an active body. Members have, from the beginning, been known as Fellows of the Society, and there are now some three thousand Fellows around the world, as well as twenty-five Honorary Fellows elected for their outstanding scholarship. Membership is by election, held annually on St Andrew’s day, 30th November; it is open to all with an interest in the history and archaeology of Scotland.

The Society organises an annual Programme of Meetings; this includes monthly lectures in Edinburgh from October to June, a conference, and various seminars and excursions. There is a flourishing North-East Section based in Aberdeen which organises its own excursions, in addition to regular lectures. All Fellows receive annually the Proceedings of the Society, an up-to-date and wide-ranging record of research in Scotland. Fellows are also entitled to purchase other Society publications, such as the Monograph Series, at reduced prices.

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.

In 1780 the Society started to collect antiquities, manuscripts and books, and these formed the nucleus from which the National Museums of Scotland was founded. Today this collection is part of the national Museums of Scotland with which the Society maintains close links. The offices of the Society are housed in the Museum, and Society meetings make use of museum facilities. The Library in the Museum contains a unique collection of books dating back to the foundation of the Society, and it continues to receive periodicals from around the world, in exchange for the Proceedings. Fellows enjoy the privilege of consultation and borrowing books from the library, which is open on weekdays.

As the senior antiquarian body in Scotland, the Society has an important role in the cultural life and heritage of 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 often consulted on different matters relating to the heritage, and it is represented on many committees and councils including the Ancient Monuments Board for Scotland. Membership of the Society enables Fellows to play a part in safeguarding the Scottish past.

Admission to the Society is by election. Candidates should be proposed by a Fellow. In some cases Council may waive the need for a sponsor; candidates should contact the Director for advice on this matter.

Elections are held annually on St Andrew’s Day, 30th November. The names of those seeking admission are circulated to the Fellowship before that meeting, and candidates are advised of the outcome of the election shortly after the ballot. Application forms must be returned to the Society by 1st October.

There is an entrance fee of £10 (or £5, if under 30 years of age on the date of election), and the annual subscription is £25. The Society’s financial year runs from 1st July to 30th June, and a full year’s subscription is due for the year of election. Fellows receive each volume of the Proceedings, a twice-yearly Newsletter, and have the right to attend Meetings, to which they may bring guests. Fellows may also borrow books from the Library.

A reduced rate of subscription of £10 is available to those who are not the first member of a household to be elected to the Society, and who waive their right to receive the Proceedings. This reduced rate is only available to Fellows who are normally resident in the same household as the first Fellow.

Fellows resident outside Europe will be asked to send an additional amount to cover the high cost of postage. Newsletters and other communications are sent by airmail; the Proceedings are sent by surface mail.

Those who have been Fellows for ten consecutive years and who deem themselves retired may pay a reduced subscription of £20.

The entrance fee and subscription are not due until election has taken place. No money should be sent with the application form.

The offices of the Society of Antiquaries are housed in the Royal Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF.  You can ring them at 0131 247 4155 or 4133 or fax them on 0131 247 4163.

You can see their web site here!

Society Leaflet (2014)
Society Application Form (2014)

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
One hundred and twenty-eigth session 1907-1908 (pdf)



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