Society appeals for help publishing Bute book

THE organisers of a conference on the natural and cultural history of Bute have issued a public appeal for financial help to enable them to publish a volume of academic essays about the island by some of Scotland’s leading historians and archaeologists.

The Scottish Society for Northern Studies, which held its spring conference on Bute in April 2010, hopes to publish ‘Historic Bute: Land and People’ some time this year, and has written to a number of organisations on and off the island inviting contributions towards the cost of publication.

The book, edited by Dr Anna Ritchie, will contain 12 chapters on subjects as diverse as Bute’s links to Norse culture, agricultural improvement in the 18th century and even th eplace-names and witches of the island.

The chapters have been written by academics from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling universities, the Strathmartine Trust, the National Museums of Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

There is also a chapter by Angus Hannah from the Discover Bute Landscape Partnership Scheme on landholdings and rural settlement patterns on Bute from Norse times to the Improvements.

SSNS chair John Baldwin, from the University of Edinburgh, told The Buteman the estimated cost of publishing the book – which will run to approximately 78,000 words, along with some 34 colour images and 12 black-and-white line drawings – is around £5,500 for a print run of five hundred copies.

“We have raised approximately 50 per cent to date, including a significant contribution by the Society, and so seek some £2,800 from other sources,” Mr Baldwin said.

“We would particularly welcome grants, sponsorships and donations each in the region of £800-£1,000, but any assistance would be much appreciated.”

Anyone interested in making a financial contribution can contact Mr Baldwin at jbaldwi1@staffmail.ed.ac.uk or at the Scottish Society for Northern Studies, c/o 60 Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh EH10 5PF.