About The Stair Society

The Stair Society, Scotland's leading legal history society, was founded in 1934 to encourage the study and advance the knowledge of the history of Scots Law by the publication of original documents and by the reprinting and editing of works of sufficient rarity or importance.

The Society, a registered charity, has produced over 65 volumes, aiming to publish a volume each year (although this is not guaranteed). Some of these are of antiquarian interest, while others are of wider intellectual and historical significance.

All our books are accessible free to members in electronic form on the HeinOnline legal database, after an interval of three years following hardback publication. This presently covers volumes 1 to 65.

At our annual meeting each November a distinguished lecturer is invited to give an address, which is followed by lunch for members and their guests.

In making knowledge of the past readily accessible and fulfilling its objectives, we depend on the support of Scottish lawyers, both advocates and solicitors, and on legal historians throughout the world, as well as upon libraries and institutions.

When resources allow us to do so, we also fund research in furtherance of our objectives.

Viscount Stair

The Stair Society is named after Scotland's greatest jurist, James Dalrymple, 1st Viscount Stair


Details of the Society's current council, constitution and annual report


The Society is a self-funded registered Scottish charity - when possible we may offer funding for research

History of the Society

The Society was founded in 1934 to encourage study of the history of Scots Law

Legal history links

A collection of links to our sister societies across the world and useful online history resources