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Records of The Scottish Anthropological and Folklore Society

Identifier: Coll-262

Scope and Contents

Minutes books of the Edinburgh and Lothian Local Branch of the Royal Anthropological Society, The Scottish Anthropological and Folklore Society and The Standing Committee of Anthropological Teaching. Various papers relating to the winding up of the Scottish Anthropological and Folklore Society.


  • 1922-1960


Biographical / Historical

At a meeting of the Council of Royal Anthropological Institute in London on 24 October 1922, an application by twelve fellows of the Institute to found a local branch in Edinburgh was accepted. The inaugural meeting of the Edinburgh and Lothians Branch of the Royal Anthropological Institute was held in the Royal Scottish Geographical Society Meeting Rooms, Synod Hall, Castle Terrace, Edinburgh on 6 February 1923. The key members included Lord Abercomby, Sir P Hamilton-Grierson and Sir Everard im Thurn. The Local Branch organised a number of lectures on anthropology. In 1933 the Local Branch held its final lecture and the Branch terminated.

Overlapping the last few years of the Local Branch, a group of individuals, some existing members of the Local Branch, formed a Scottish Anthropological Society. The individuals met on 15 June 1932 at the Royal Scottish Museum again on the 18 June to decide on the aim of the Society which was to further the study of anthropology generally but with special emphasis on the anthropology of Scotland.

The provisional council met on 8 November and set up various committees to deal with: an anthropometric survey of Scotland; folklore dialect; comparative religion; general ethnology; and propaganda. The Society arranged talks on a variety of topics including: Finland; Scottish dialects and some methods of analysing and recording their pronunciation; the Leningrad Exhibition of Iranian Art, 1935 and its ethnographical aspect; Scottish placenames; May civilisation of Yucatan; a moslem community in Britain; and nursery rhymes. The society also produced a journal named The Proceedings. The key members included Professor H J Rose, Mr William Grant, Professor A Sayce, Mr G R Gair (later Robert Gayre of Gayre) and Mr Robert Kerr.

In 1936 the Society changed its name to The Scottish Anthropology and Folklore Society. In the late 1950s the membership of the Society began to dwindle and it was wound up in 1960.


1 linear metre (7 volumes, 1 box)

Physical Location

Gen.34 - Gen.40*

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bulk of material acquired 1960, Accession E.1960.29. Material relating to the dissolution of the Society acquired 1962, Accession E.1962.57.
Records of The Scottish Anthropological and Folklore Society
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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