Dip. Pub. B.A., Ph.D., FRHS, Senior Lecturer.
Alastair Mann joined the Division of History, Heritage and Politics in September 2005. He is an authority on the early book trade of Scotland. This interest in the book trade developed from an earlier career as a book publisher and managing editor at Penguin Books in London in the 1970s and 1980s, after studying Publishing Studies at Napier University, Edinburgh. Subsequently, when he returned to Scotland for an academic career and did his undergraduate degree and doctoral thesis at the University of Stirling, it made perfect sense to continue that interest in the press and early publishing.
After obtaining his PhD in 1997, Dr Mann became a research fellow in the Scottish Parliament Project based at St Andrews University (1998-2005) which has produced, under the directorship of Professor Keith Brown, the major online resource The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 ( https://www.rps.ac.uk/ ) now hosted by the National Records of Scotland. This resource is the premier online database for medieval and early modern Scottish history and an international exemplar for such projects. Working chiefly on the period 1660 to 1707 he was co-editor of this project when it went live in 2008. He has published widely on parliamentary history and the politics of seventeenth century Scotland, including The History of the Scottish Parliament, volume 2: Parliament and Politics in Scotland, 1567-1707 (2005), for which he is co-editor. In the light of his knowledge of the pre-1707 parliament he has advised the BBC on matters of ceremonial for the state openings of the new Scottish Parliament. He is also Director of Publications for the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions. It publishes Parliaments, Estates and Representation and is the foremost international society for parliamentary history. See https://www.ichrpi.info/
Meanwhile, in 2000 his monograph The Scottish Book Trade, 1500 to 1720 (2000) won the Scottish Saltire Prize as research book of the year, and he continues to publish on Scottish book history on subjects such as copyright and censorship; for example ‘The anatomy of copyright law in Scotland before 1710' in Alexander and Gómez-Arostegui (eds.), Research Handbook on the History of Copyright Law (Edward Edgar, 2016), a book intended for practising lawyers and judges as well as students of the book and intellectual property. In addition, and reflecting his interest in Restoration history, he has published a major biography of James VII and II, the first ever 'life' from a Scottish perspective, James VII and II: duke and king of Scots, 1633-1707 (John Donald, 2014).
In late 2019, with himself as PI and in collaboration with Dundee University, Dr Mann was awarded a major Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant for the project ‘The Scottish Privy Council, 1692-1708: government from Revolution to Union’. This 3-year project, with PhD students and research fellows at both institutions and Alastair Mann joined by Alan MacDonald and Allan Kennedy at Dundee, will research the Privy Council in the period, and also produce a free-to-access website of the council record for use by future researchers and students. RPS will act as a template for the editing and online development of this resource. For the Scottish Privy Council Project see https://privycouncil.stir.ac.uk/