The Rosebery Prize
The Scottish History Society is delighted to announce a call for entries for its annual prize of £350 to be awarded for the best primary source edition (transcription with scholarly apparatus) by a postgraduate student or early career scholar. The purpose of the prize is to recognise the excellent, and often never published, primary source discovery and transcription undertaken by postgraduate students.
Anyone registered for any postgraduate degree at any university; anyone within five years of graduation with a postgraduate qualification. Previous winners of this prize are not elibile to re-enter, but previously unsuccessful applicants are warmly encouraged to apply.
The length and type of material that forms the submission will vary considerably depending on research focus. Thus there is no set length for submissions. The applicant should complete the application form and submit a sample transcription. The sample might comprise, for example, a selection of letters comprising c. two A4 pages; a charter; a selection from meeting minutes comprising c. two A4 pages.
The submission should also include appropriate scholarly apparatus. This will probably comprise the following:
- A historical introduction. In general, the introduction should place the document fully in context, as appropriate for the period and type of document. For example, this could explain why the material is significant, its contribution to a field of Scottish history (with reference to relevant historiography), and why it would be useful for the document to be edited (or re-edited) and made more widely available. There is no set length – introductions of past winning entries have varied in length from less than two A4 pages to more than twenty.
- An explanation of editorial methodology. This should cover the nature of the source (e.g., its location, physical condition, document type), and which elements you have chosen to represent, exclude or modify in your edition (e.g., spelling, punctuation and layout).
- If the manuscript is not in English or Scots, a full translation. If the manuscript is in a form of English or Scots, you could consider whether a glossary of unusual words might be appropriate.
In order that the quality of the transcription can be judged, images, scans, or copies of the sample extract original manuscript must accompany entries. The submission will usually have formed part of a postgraduate research project. The documents submitted must be directly related to the history of Scotland and/or the Scots, but the competition is not restricted to material from Scottish archives. Work submitted must not have been published.
Process of Judging
A panel convened by the Council of the Scottish History Society will judge the prize. All submissions will be scrutinised by an expert in the appropriate era/field. The Society reserves the right to award more than one prize per year, or not to award the prize.
The prize-winner will receive a prize of £350 and membership of the SHS for one year. The winning entry will be considered for publication in an SHS miscellany volume or (if applicable) as a full volume. By entering the competition the prize-winner agrees to their entry being read by a referee who may suggest improvements for publication. The prize-winner agrees, where feasible, to attend the SHS AGM (normally in March) to be awarded the prize. The prize-winner also agrees that the SHS will publicise their success. Applicants should submit a sample of their transcription and complete the application form.
Rosebery Prize application form 2023
Entries should be submitted by 30 November 2023 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Informal enquiries are welcome.
2022 Rosebery Prize winner
Juliette Desportes of the University of Glasgow, for ‘Petition and Complaint by Roderick MacKenzie, 1756’.
2021 Rosebery Prize winner
Xiang Wei of the University of Cambridge, for ‘Extract of the Autobiography of Thomas Mitchell, Soldier in the 21st Regiment of Foot or North British Fusiliers, addressed to Thomas Boston, Minister of the Gospel at Jedburgh’.
2020 Rosebery Prize winner
Sara Caputo of the University of Cambridge, for ‘Scottish young gentlemen in the Royal Navy, 1791-1818: William Macleod, William Rennie, Robert Ritchie’.
2019 Rosebery Prize winner
Joseph Wagner of the University of St Andrews, for ‘Extracts from the Journal of Robert Barclay of Ury Relating to the Colonisation of East New Jersey, 1682–1688’.
2018 Rosebery Prize winner
Karie Schultz of Queen’s University Belfast, for ‘Essay on Resisting Magistrates, c. 1637, 1638’.
Highly commended: Laura Doak of the University of Glasgow, for ‘Robert Garnock’s “protestation against the parlimenters”‘.
2017 Rosebery Prize winner
Ciaran Jones of the University of Edinburgh, for the 1682 confession of the servant Margaret Dougal, who claimed to have raised Satan.
2016 Rosebery Prize winner
Martha McGill of the University of Edinburgh, for ‘Angels, Ghosts and Journeys to the Afterlife: The “very rare and Memorable” Stories of James Cowan (c. 1707)’.
2015 No award made
2014 Scottish History Society Prize Winner
The Scottish History Society is delighted to announce the winner of the 2014 Postgraduate Prize, Alice Glaze, of the University of Guelph, Canada. She was awarded the prize for her efforts on: ‘The List of Residents, Canongate (1661).’
2012 Scottish History Society Prize Winner
The Scottish History Society is delighted to announce the winner of its 2012 Prize, Jeffrey Wolf, of the University of Edinburgh. Jeffrey was awarded the prize for his work on: A Treatise on the Preservation of Health, University of Glasgow Library, MS Cullen 335, c. 1783-85, a manuscript by Dr William Cullen (1710-1790) in his own hand. The Society is pleased to note the continuing high calibre of entrants to its prize and offers many congratulations to Jeffrey.
2011 Scottish History Society Prize Winner
The Postgraduate Prize for 2011 was won by Christopher Langley of the University of Aberdeen for an extract of the missing Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale minutes from a presbytery book of Dalkeith, November 1651 to March 1652.
2010 Scottish History Society Prize Winner
The SHS PG prize for 2010 was won by Cathryn Spence of the University of Edinburgh.
Cathryn’s winning transcription is of a selection of material from the Register of Decreets for Edinburgh between 1606 and 1622, located in the Edinburgh City Archives and incorrectly identified until October 2009. This series of cases illustrates the importance of debt and credit networks during this period in Edinburgh and other information that can be gained by the social historian from such records concerning debt litigation.
2009 Scottish History Society Prize Winner
There was no award made in 2009.
2008 Scottish History Society Prize winner
The 2008 Scottish History Society Prize winner was Siobhan Talbott, a postgraduate student at the University of St Andrews. Siobhan’s entry was the Letterbook of John Clerk of Penicuik, 1644-45.
This year the panel again also chose to award another outstanding entry with a ‘highly commended’. This was to Nathan Gray, a postgraduate at the University of Glasgow, for his transcription of David Home of Crossrig’s 1701 ‘Society for the Reformation of Manners’.
2007 Scottish History Society Prize winner
The 2007 Scottish History Society Prize winner was Steven Reid, a postgraduate student at the University of St Andrews. Steven’s entry was an oration given by Dr Robert Howie, Doctor of Theology, when he resigned from the Rectorate of St Andrews University in 1617, and an account of St Mary’s College, St Andrews, written in 1585/6 by James Melville.
The panel also chose to award another outstanding entry with a ‘highly commended’. This was to Alice Taylor, a postgraduate at St Peter’s College, Oxford, for her edition of the Dunfermline Chronicle.