Prof Sir Tom Devine has had a long and distinguished career exploring and explaining the nation’s history, and following his recent retirement is currently Professor Emeritus in the University of Edinburgh. A recognised authority on the Scottish diaspora, Sir Tom’s research has firmly located Scotland within a global context, examining the nation’s role in empire and transatlantic relations. His work has also surveyed Irish emigration to Scotland, and investigated historical comparisons between the two nations.
Sir Tom’s long career has been internationally recognised, receiving honours from around the world, including most recently by the (UK) All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Sir Tom is a life-long user of archives and has been a strong advocate of the sector.
Sir Tom’s latest book, The Scottish Clearances: A History of the Dispossessed 1600-1900 will be published by Allen Lane: The Penguin Press in early October. It is available for pre-order, and can be collected and paid for on the night. Sir Tom will be on hand for signing after the talk.
In this lecture he tries to show how he has used archives which were primarily produced by and for social elites to understand and reveal the experience and voice of the poor and dispossessed during an era of unprecedented rural transformation.