Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies

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As part of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Scotland, at Edinburgh, a Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies is a pivotal part of understanding the legacy of migration from Scotland. The Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies within the School of History, Classics and Archaeology in the University of Edinburgh, the first such research unit in the field, was formally established in spring, 2008 to advance historical enquiry into this vital subject.

Scotland is among the great migrant nations of modern times.  For centuries Scots have left their native shores first for Europe and England, then the north of Ireland, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australasia.  Their international mobility has been truly global and impact on the history of several overseas countries very considerable.

Much has been written about this great diaspora but there still remain major questions and issues which require to be studied in academic depth and in a comparative context alongside the emigrations of other nations. 

It was launched with an endowment of £1 million from an Edinburgh fund manager and his family, thought to be the largest single private gift ever made for historical research in the UK.

The role of the Centre is to re-assess Scotland's influence on the shaping of the modern world. A key focus is to examine how Scots influenced societies, economies and cultures around the world - not just the New World of Australia, New Zealand and North America, but countries such as Sweden, Poland and France, as well as Asia.

At the launch Professor Tom Devine, Head of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies acknowledged this generous support from the Scottish Government for work in this key area of research.