National and local history organisations

Scottish Local History Forum

The Scottish Local History Forum is the umbrella organisation for people and organisations interested in local history in Scotland. It publishes its journal, Scottish Local History, three times a year, organises an annual conference in the autumn, campaigns on behalf of local history, and generally keeps those involved in local history in touch with Scottish activities. SLHF maintains a calendar of events held by member organisations and provides an online Directory of member organisations and resources. SLHF also publishes Clish-Clash, a regular e-newsletter highlighting developments in the Scottish local history world. 

The Old Edinburgh Club is a member of SLHF and is represented on the Forum’s Advisory Committee.

British Association for Local History

The British Association for Local History undertakes a similar role to the Scottish Local History Forum, though predominantly south of the border. Its goal is advancing public education through the study of local history. 

The Old Edinburgh Club’s membership of BALH provides discounted entry for OEC members to many BALH online lectures, webinars and other activities. If you are interested in any of these, please contact the OEC Membership Secretary for the discount code. BALH has a range of publications and other resources, including its journal The Local Historian and magazine Local History News. Back copies are currently free to download.

Other national organisations

Edinburgh history and heritage organisations

Local Heritage Network

Many local history and heritage organisations are members of the Edinburgh Local Heritage Network, set up in 2023 to develop and promote local groups, undertake collaborative activities and strengthen relationships with Council services (especially Archives, Libraries, and Museums and Galleries). 

Edinburgh organisations

The Cockburn Association is Edinburgh’s Civic Trust, a watchdog on current and future developments. The Cockburn Association has its own Edinburgh Online Bibliography.

Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society encourages interest in all activities relating to archaeology, undertaking investigation of unscheduled historical sites, using careful excavation techniques, geophysics, fieldwalking, processing of finds and research. Provides excavation training for volunteers of all ages and abilities and organises a winter lecture programme and outings. Has a current focus on Cammo Country Park, owned by the City of Edinburgh Council.

The Edinburgh Bibliographical Society promotes the study of books and manuscripts of any date, particularly Scottish, through meetings, publications and other activities.

Edinburgh World Heritage is dedicated to preserving the character of Edinburgh’s Old Town and the New Town, which together form the World Heritage Site. Activities have included the Edinburgh Graveyards Project which sought to increase community involvement with five historic graveyards in the city.

Within Edinburgh

You can also find ‘Friends’  groups on Facebook:

  • locality groups, such as Restalrig, Lochend and Craigentinny ‘People’s Parish’, Southside Heritage Group and Spirit of Leithers
  • graveyards and cemeteries, such as Canongate, Dalry, Greyfriars, North Merchiston, Old Calton and New Calton and Warriston
  • parks and gardens, such as Hopetoun Crescent Garden and Saughton Park