About Us

Welcome to a Society that has been around for 240 years, actively supporting the study and enjoyment of Scotland’s past.

Founded in 1780 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1783 the Society’s purpose is “to investigate both antiquities and natural and civil history in general, with the intention that the talents of mankind should be cultivated and that the study of natural and useful sciences should be promoted.

The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland is proud to be an inclusive, anti-racist, pro-equality and pro-diversity heritage charity. We believe that no one holds a monopoly on Scotland’s history and that it should be shared by and for everyone. For over 240 years, we have provided expertise, support and resources to enhance and promote the understanding and enjoyment of Scotland’s past around the world. We empower and facilitate research and innovation, advocating as an independent voice for heritage matters, and sharing knowledge of the past with everyone; we are committed to working towards equality and accessibility in the Scottish heritage sector and beyond.

The antiquities that society members, like Sir Walter Scott and Alexander Rhind, originally collected, form the basis of the collection at the National Museums of Scotland (NMS), having been gifted to the nation by the Society in the mid nineteenth century.

Two hundred years on we continue to promote the understanding and conservation of Scotland’s historical and archaeological environment for the benefit of all. Today we are an independent charity stimulating discussion and collaboration and supporting research.

Increasingly we’re involved in helping to translate the past for a contemporary audience, highlighting its relevance today. We publish high quality books and peer reviewed papers, run an annual programme of lectures and conferences (such as the prestigious Rhind Lectures) and administer research grants and prizes.

We also act as advocates for the heritage sector, responding to government consultations and chairing meetings and symposia. We are an impartial voice for Scotland’s past and a focal point for its diverse strands.

The Society is governed by a voluntary Council and run by a small staff. It is mainly funded by membership subscription with several thousand Fellows spread around the world all connected through their interest in Scotland’s past.

Our History

Our History

For over 230 years the Society has been actively supporting the study and enjoyment of Scotland’s past.

Honorary Fellows

Honorary Fellows

Persons eminent in any branch of antiquarian study



Responsible for governance and strategic direction

Public List of Fellows

List of Fellows

Aberdeen and North-East Section

Aberdeen and North East Section

Hosts Society lectures as well as events of their own



Meet our full and part-time staff

Royal Charter and Laws

Royal Charter and Laws of the Society

1783 to now



Supporting Trustees in the pursuance of their objectives

Roll of Fellows

Help us to do more

Help us: champion research; stimulate discussion; enhance public understanding; and share our extraordinary heritage. Donate directly to the Society now.