The European Ethnological Research Centre


The European Ethnological Research Centre (EERC) was established in 1989 under the directorship of Dr (later Professor) Alexander Fenton, former Director of the National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland. The EERC was based at the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh until July 2006, when its research activities were transferred to the University of Edinburgh. The EERC was established as a Charitable Trust in November 1995 (Scottish Charity SC 0241992).


The primary concern of the EERC is the promotion of research into the everyday life of the people of Scotland as it has changed through time, and the publication of results, which can then be made widely available for educational and general purposes. Ethnological methods of research are encouraged across a broad range of subjects, both traditional and contemporary, and across all levels of society.

Publication Programme

The publication programme of the EERC in recent years has been focused on the following four series:

Scottish Life and Society. A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology

This major project comprises fourteen thematically arranged volumes. Its aim is to examine the interlocking strands of history and of traditional and contemporary culture that go into the making of a national identity. Thirteen volumes have been published. The series is due for completion in 2013.


Comprising oral and written recollections, this series of books presents the personal experiences of people from different localities and of different backgrounds. Twenty-five volumes have been published so far, some in collaboration with the Scottish Working Peoples’ History Trust. The series is now published in association with the National Museums Scotland.

Sources in Local History

These complement the Flashback series by presenting original manuscript material originally written for private purposes, such as farmers’ and tradesmen’s diaries and account books. Seven volumes were published between 1994 and 1997.

The Review of Scottish Culture

An annual journal that focuses primarily on the ethnology and cultural, economic and social history of Scotland from the earliest times to the present day. First published in 1984, it contains articles, shorter notes and book reviews by leading authorities on a wide range of topics. Twenty-four volumes have been published so far.


Professor Gary West Director
Ms Caroline Milligan Researcher
Mr Mark Mulhern Researcher
Dr Kenneth Veitch Researcher