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Publications

Every year the AHS publishes at least one book. The order form for orders by email can be found below.

For credit card orders, please use the Parish Chest website.  You can also download out-of print publications from our Downloads page

No 54

A City at War: The 4th Black Watch, Dundee's Own

Julie Danskin (2013)

Dundee’s memory of the First World War is stamped indelibly atop its starkest landmark, Dundee Law. This book concentrates on local experiences of the war to explore issues such as censorship, officer-man relations, social composition and the role of newspapers, allowing a more human story to take shape. Dundee had a strong human investment in the war, nowhere more so than in its local battalion, the 4th Black Watch, ‘Dundee’s Own’. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, particularly local newspapers, diaries and correspondence as well as art, photography and poetry, Julie Danskin draws out the very personal stories of the ‘Fourth’ from its leaving Dundee in February 1915 to its amalgamation in March 1916 following heavy losses suffered at the Battle of Loos. Although the history of the First World War is so often dictated by a narrative of battles and tactics, this book is very much Dundee’s story. With testimonies from the pages of the People’s Journal to the heart-breaking letters of two brothers from Barnhill, this book depicts how Dundee’s citizens at home and abroad experienced the war in training, in reserve, in battle, and in mourning.

Julie Danskin graduated from the University of Dundee with an undergraduate degree in History in 2010, and an MLitt in Scottish History in 2012. This book is based on her undergraduate dissertation, which won prizes from the University and the Abertay Historical Society. Julie is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of St Andrews, funded by the Carnegie Trust, which takes her preoccupation with networks and human experience into the realms of the Scottish Enlightenment.

ISBN 978-0-900019-57-7

GBP 7.50 Buy Online

122 pages, 13 b/w illustrations

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Cover of Glen Clova book

No 53

Glen Clova through the Ages: a Short Guide to the History of an Angus Glen

Flora Davidson (2013)

Wherever you roam in Glen Clova you are surrounded by a living environment of pastoral farming and recreation. Traces of past human occupation stretch from prehistoric roundhouses and newly discovered Pictish longhouses to 19th-century abandoned settlements with their kaleyards and corn-drying kilns. In this book excerpts from original records bring the people vividly to life as they react to war and famine and enjoy traditional tales and gala-days. When handworkers could no longer compete with mass production and tenant and cottar were ousted by land reorganisation they emigrated. Their descendants will recognise named ancestors in this intimately researched book.

Flora Davidson, now resident in Glen Clova, lived many years in Arbroath as a teacher of modern languages, on retirement becoming a professional genealogist. Between times she published articles in the Scots Magazine, Scotland’s Magazine and The Scottish Field and with the help of her husband An Inventory of the Seventeenth-Century Tombstones of Angus, followed by a similar inventory of the Mearns, and The Examination Roll of Arbroath. With her daughter Elspeth Reid she wrote The Fortunes of Cynicus. Flora has also written a book of short stories, Past Days in Glen Clova, and a historical novel awaiting publication. For 11 years she edited The Pheon, the journal of the Clan Davidson Association.

ISBN 978-0-900019-50-0

150 pages, 12 colour plates and 13 b/w illustrations

Please note: this title has now sold out. We advise you to look for second-hand copies.

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Two Intrepid Ladies book cover

No 52

Dundee’s Two Intrepid Ladies: A Tour Round the World by D C Thomson’s Female Journalists in 1894

Susan Keracher (2012)

In the 1890s, two women newspaper correspondents from Dundee embarked on an epic journey around the world for their employer, D.C. Thomson. Their assignment lasted almost a year, during which time they visited 10 countries and travelled over 26,000 miles. Their lively, illustrated reports give a fascinating insight into 19th-century travel and the role and status of women throughout the world. This book features a selection of highlights from these ground-breaking and highly entertaining accounts, presenting an appealing mix of travel writing, social history and gender politics. The detailed introduction and annotations help to place the original texts within their social and historical context.

Susan Keracher is Curator of Art at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum. She received her MA in Art History at the University of St Andrews in 1998 and a postgraduate diploma in Museum & Gallery Studies in 2000. During the redevelopment of The McManus (completed in 2010), Susan curated the Dundee and the World gallery which showcases the City’s international collections. The ‘Two Intrepid Ladies’ display included in the gallery provided the starting point for this book.

ISBN 978 0 900019 49 4

GBP 7.50 Buy Online

106 pages, 10 b/w plates and 18 line illustrations



Ten Taysiders

No 51

Ten Taysiders: Forgotten Figures from Dundee, Angus and Perthshire

Selected and edited by the Abertay Historical Society with an introduction by Billy Kay (2011)

This book contains ten extraordinary stories – ten men and women from Dundee, Angus and Perthshire whose lives and achievements deserve to be better remembered. From the Crimean War hero of Atholl to the Dundonian who became a radical trade unionist in South Africa; from the lady philanthropist who founded Dundee’s University to the slave-trading sojourner of Montrose who later became an Abolitionist. Within these pages you will encounter great figures from the church, politics, business, medicine, natural science and many other fields. From the landed gentry to the humblest cattle herd – each one has a remarkable tale to tell.

ISBN 978 0 900019 48 7
GBP 4.00  Buy online
88 pages, 10 monochrome illustrations


Broughty Castle and the Defence of the Tay

No 50

Broughty Castle and the Defence of the Tay

Sir Francis Mudie, David Walker and Iain McIvor (2010)


First published in 1970, Broughty Castle and the Defence of the Tay has now been substantially revised and enlarged by Professor David Walker to bring it up-to-date with the latest developments in historical research. The book tells the story of Broughty Castle in local and national affairs from the late fifteenth century to the Second World War. It traces the fortunes of the Gray family who played an important part in the Anglo-Scottish wars and the upheaval of Reformation and the Regencies in the mid-sixteenth century, and later a central role in negotiations regarding the fate of Mary, Queen of Scots and the Union of the Crowns. It then follows the Castle’s pioneering restoration and its reconstruction as an artillery fort defending Dundee against bombardment by the French navy in the mid-nineteenth century and the Germans in the twentieth.

ISBN 978 0 900019 47 0

134 pages, 26 monochrome diagrams and illustrations

Please note: this title has now sold out. We advise you to look for second-hand copies.


The 1915 Rent Strikes

No 49

The 1915 Rent Strikes: An East Coast Perspective

Dr Ann Petrie (2008)

The 1915 rent strike in Glasgow during the First World War has become one of the most famous episodes associated with the legendary Red Clydeside conflicts. It was a dispute that was settled by the government in favour of the strikers when they introduced the Rent Restrictions Act, which capped rents for the duration of the war. As this book will argue, the success of the strike was not only due to events on the west coast, but to the national urban character of the strike. This book explores the housing situation and development of socialism on the east coast of Scotland and will, for the first time, describe in detail the strikes that took place in Dundee and to a lesser extent Aberdeen, Kirkcaldy and Leith.

Dr Ann Petrie is Course Leader at Angus College, Arbroath. After completing her degree she co-authored “The Glaxo”: 50 Years in Montrose, published in May 2002. Following this she successfully completed her doctoral research ‘Scottish Culture and the First World War, 1914-1939’ at the University of Dundee in August 2006 and published ‘J M Barrie and the First World War: Propagandist; Philanthropist and Apologist’ in the Scottish Association of History Teachers’ journal in 2008. Her area of academic interest focuses on the period surrounding the First World War and its impact on the home front in Scotland.

ISBN 978 0 90009 46 3

GBP 7.50Buy online

116 pages, 14 colour illustrations


Making the Vote Count

No 48

Making the Vote Count: The Arbroath Women Citizens' Association 1931-1945

Sarah F Browne (2007)

Women Citizens’ Associations were formed in Scotland in the aftermath of the campaign for equal suffrage as leading campaigner Eleanor Rathbone realised that a national network of groups was needed to educate women on their new role in civil society. Using previously unexplored papers, Sarah Browne seeks to highlight this forgotten part of women’s history. In this publication it is shown that far from being merely committee women these groups constituted important political forums campaigning on a number of issues of local and national importance, such as for more policewomen.

This study shows that due to entrance into formal politics being difficult for women of the early twentieth century that groups such as WCAs provided an important outlet for women who wanted to be involved in the political process. This research is even more significant when it is considered that the Arbroath branch is believed to be the last in existence out of an original Scottish twenty. This publication makes an important contribution to not only understanding the inter-war women’s movement in Arbroath but also adds significantly to the Scottish picture.

Sarah Browne was awarded a degree in History at the University of Dundee in 2005. During that time she completed a dissertation of which the research from that forms the basis of this book. It then went on to win the Abertay Historical Society Best Dissertation Prize. Sarah was recently awarded an MLitt and has now started her doctoral research funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

ISBN 978 0 900019 45 6

GBP 4.00

88 pages, 10 monochrome illustrations


The Schoolmaster Engineer

No 47

The Schoolmaster Engineer: Adam Anderson of Perth and St Andrews 1780-1846

Kenneth Cameron (2007)

The Fergusson Gallery, formerly Perth’s old water works, which now houses the celebrated J D Fergusson art collection, is an outstanding feature of Scotland’s industrial archaeology. Strangely, this architectural and engineering triumph, the powerhouse of the city’s first genuinely clean drinking water system, was the creation of a schoolmaster, Dr Adam Anderson (1780-1846), Rector of Perth Academy.

In his revised and extended biographical study of this native of Kincardine-on-Forth, Kenneth Cameron describes the origins and construction of Anderson’s water system and of a bewildering array of other contributions to his adopted city, during a period of rapid economic change, technological advance, social upheaval, and political and religious crises. Anderson’s personal contributions towards the Georgian Fair City’s public service infrastructure, economic well-being, and its environmental preservation were unequalled, and many proved durable.

This study provides, in addition, glimpses of Kincardine’s mercantile past, a worm’s eye view of student life at St Andrews University at the turn of the 18th century, and of the challenges facing an ambitious itinerant tutor migrating annually between Enlightenment Edinburgh and rural Angus. Political turmoil in Perth in the First Reform Act era, and of strife amongst the professoriate of St Andrews University, where Anderson secured controversially the chair of natural philosophy nine years before his death, also feature.

A native of Perth, Kenneth Cameron attended Perth Academy. After graduating initially from Aberdeen, he completed a PhD in Scottish History at Edinburgh University, before qualifying in librarianship at Strathclyde. Posts in archives and librarianship at Dundee University led to eventual responsibility for Bibliographic Services, before he returned to Strathclyde University in 1986 as Depute Librarian. Dr Cameron’s first real encounter with Adam Anderson was when, as a very young member of the former Perth Town Council, he actively supported the decision to preserve the former waterworks for posterity. The first edition of The Schoolmaster Engineer was published by the Abertay Historical Society in 1988.

ISBN 978 0 900019 44 9

GBP 5.00

147 pages, 16 colour illustrations


A Noble and Potent Lady

No 46

A Noble and Potent Lady: Katherine Campbell, Countess of Crawford

Mary Verschuur (2006)

Katherine Campbell was the granddaughter of Archibald, second earl of Argyll. She was first married to James, master of Ogilvy and later to David Lindsay of Edzell, ninth earl of Crawford. Katherine lived through the ‘rough wooings’ and the Scottish Reformation. She outlived both her husbands and was no doubt fortunate that despite the fact that she was a very eligible widow in 1559, she was not required to marry again. This, however, did not ensure for her a genteel retirement.

The dowager Countess of Crawford was faced with bringing up all of her children in the politically and religiously unstable environment of the 1560s. She had given birth to the heirs to Airlie and Edzell and to ten other children besides. Dr Verschuur tells the story of Katherine’s successful management of her own and her children’s affairs in those turbulent times. Her surviving letters, papers and records of her numerous court appearances form the nucleus around which this portrait of A Noble and Potent Lady is drawn.

Mary Verschuur lives in Omaha (USA) but was born and raised in Perth. Her undergraduate studies in the US led to an MA in History after which she returned to her native land to complete a PhD in Scottish history at the University of Glasgow, awarded in 1985. Dr Verschuur’s publications include a monograph on Perth at the time of the Reformation entitled, Politics or Religion? Successes and Failures in the Reformation of the Town of Perth 1540-1570 (Dunedin Academic Press, 2006).

ISBN 978 0 900019 43 2

GBP 4.00

121 pages, 5 monochrome illustrations


The guildry of Dundee

No 45

The Guildry of Dundee

Annette M Smith (2005)

For many centuries only the Royal Burghs of Scotland could participate in the country's import / export trade and within these burghs the only legitimate dealers in this trade were the merchants. This privilege was greatly envied by those who could not partake in what could be a lucrative business and it was a constant struggle to prevent or punish breaches of the monopoly. Merchants everywhere realised at an early date that by acting together they would be more able to ward off competition and in many towns they formed their own association, the Guildry.

This study has used the fascinating records of the Guildry in Dundee to follow the efforts of the local merchants to defend their privileges until in 1846 changing views on free trade and democracy resulted in the abolition by Parliament of the special position of the Royal Burghs and all the monopolistic institutions within their bounds. The vital part the Guildry played in the economy of the burgh led also to its involvement in the administration and eventually to support for political reform.

Dr Annette M Smith studied Modern & Medieval History at the University of St Andrews. Family life interrupted her PhD studies and she eventually graduated in 1975, the same year as her older daughter. For many years a lecturer at the History department in the University of Dundee, Annette is also the author of the Abertay Historical Society's 1995 publication The Nine Trades of Dundee.

ISBN 978 0 900019 42 5

GBP 7.50

182 pages, 17 monochrome illustrations


Scottish Cowboys and Investors

No. 44

Scottish Cowboys & the Dundee Investors

Claire E Swan (2004)

Using a range of different sources including previously unexplored business papers, Scottish Cowboys and the Dundee Investors reveals one thread of Scotland’s little known business relationship with the United States. Looking closely at Dundee’s Matador Land and Cattle Company, Claire Swan explores how nineteenth century prominent Dundee investors transferred their fortunes into the uncharted territory of the Texas Panhandle when no American would consider it.

Spanning a period of seventy years, this study demonstrates how the Matador rose to be one of the most successful business ventures in Scottish and American history, and subsequently became a major competitor in international trading circles. This marks a significant contribution to Dundee’s economic history, while detailing the importance of Scottish overseas investment. Special detail is given to those well known Dundee figures that spearheaded the venture, in addition to those Scottish cowboys that rose to become national symbols in American history.

An excellent example of Dundee’s transatlantic business relations, this study also highlights the lasting legacy that can be found in Texas today.

Claire Swan obtained a degree in History from the University of Dundee in 2003. The dissertation that forms the basis of this book won the Abertay Best Dissertation prize and was nominated for Dissertation of the Year by the Royal Historical Society. Claire recently completed her MPhil studies and was awarded a Carnegie Scholarship Grant to fund her doctoral research.

Please note: this title has now sold out. We advise you to look for second-hand copies.


Dundee's Literary Lives Volumes One and Two

Dundee's Literary Lives Vol 1

No. 42

Vol 1: Fifteenth to Nineteenth Century (2003)

The oldest known Scottish poem, the Goddodin, was written near Dundee in the sixth century and during the Reformation and Renaissance some of the most influential writers in Europe including the Wedderburn brothers and Hector Boece were Dundonians. In 1660 the first full-length work of fiction written in Scotland was penned in the city whose guest-list includes Samuel Johnson, Oscar Wilde, Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Charles Dickens.

Andrew Murray Scott explores the Victorian age over three chapters and considers dozens of working class 'Poets of Protest' and the hundreds of self-styled 'Bards' (including William McGonagall) as well as the newspapers and magazines which made Dundee such an important cultural centre. Many important and neglected writers are considered; Robert Nicoll, James Gow, Robert Mudie, Robert Leighton, Frances Wright, George Gilfillan, James Young Geddes, David Pae and W.D. Latto.

ISBN 978 0 900019 38 7

GBP 3.00

104 pages, 16 monochrome illustrations

Dundee Literary Lives 2

No. 43 

Vol 2: Twentieth Century (2004)

This second volume of Andrew Murray Scott's innovative and critically-acclaimed cultural study considers Dundee's writers in World War One, the 'kailyard' period, the 'Scottish Renaissance' - and the present generation of literary prize-winners. It examines the cultural slump in mid-century, the dialect humour and distinctively local culture which emerged in the 1960s, the surprising upsurge in non-fiction writing since 1986 and the city's involvement in dramatic productions.

Important writers featured include Joseph Lee, Mary Brooksbank, Lewis Spence, J.B. Salmond, W.L. Lorimer and William Montgomerie - as well as today's literary stars such as A.L. Kennedy, W.N. Herbert and Don Paterson. The book is enlivened by the inclusion of poems and prose from the works of key figures and, like Vol 1, can be read both as a brief anthology and as an essential guide to numerous literary topics associated with Dundee.

Andrew Murray Scott is the author of twelve books including three novels and nine works of non-fiction and has been actively involved in the cultural life of Dundee as a writer and editor since the 1970s. He is a graduate of Dundee University.


ISBN 978 0 900019 39 5
GBP 3.00
128 pages, 16 monochrome illustrations
Special offer - purchase both volumes of Dundee's Literary Lives for GBP 5

Other available titles:

One Artful and Ambitious Individual

No. 28   

One Artful and Ambitious Individual - Alexander Riddoch, 1745-1822 (1989)

Enid Gauldie

ISBN 978 0 900019 24 1
GBP 3.50
65 pages

The Demands of People

No. 37      

The Demands of the People - Dundee Radicalism 1850-1870 (1997)

Michael St John

ISBN 978 0 900019 33 3
GBP 2.50
61 pages

Patrons, Poverty & Profit

No. 39

Patrons, Poverty & Profit - Organised Charity in Nineteenth-Century Dundee (2000)

Dr Lorraine Walsh

ISBN 978 0 900019 35 7
GBP 2.50
65 pages

Victorian Dundee at Worship

No. 41   

Victorian Dundee at Worship (2002)

Ian McCraw

ISBN 978 0 900019 37 9
GBP 4.00
108 pages





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What's on

Wed, Apr 8th 2015 @ 6:30pm
Some Scottish Oddities
Lecture Theatre 2, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee

Wed, Mar 11th 2015 @ 6:30pm
A History of Dundee United Football Club: 1909 - present
Lecture Theatre 2, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee

Wed, Feb 11th 2015 @ 2:15pm
Local heroes? The Kirk and the struggle for hearts and minds in Angus during the Jacobite risings
D'Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee

Wed, Feb 4th 2015 @ 6:30pm
The Trades and Provisioning
Lecture Theatre 2, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee

Wed, Dec 10th 2014 @ 6:30pm
A snapshot of new History research from the University of Dundee
Lecture Theatre 2, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee

Wed, Nov 12th 2014 @ 6:30pm
A local abbey's attitude to its charters: the cartulary of Lindores in Caprington Castle
Lecture Theatre 2, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee

Tue, Oct 21st 2014 @ 6:00pm
“Mad Dundee", 1900-1920: understanding changing attitudes to mental illness
Gannochy Lecture Theatre, Medical School, Ninewells Hospital

Wed, Oct 15th 2014 @ 6:30pm
The Archaeology of World War One
Lecture Theatre 3, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee