Business and Industrial History

The Journal of the Business Archives Council of Scotland (BACS)

In 2024 the BACS has relaunched it’s journal under a new title Business and Industrial History: A Journal of Archival Research in partnership with the University of Glasgow. Our journal is for archivists and historians to share and develop knowledge and awareness of business and industrial history and archives both in Scotland and internationally. It offers a space in which professionals and academics can enter into a dialogue and learn from their respective practices and research.


We had an open Call for Papers in early 2024 for our special issue on the whisky industry.


Call for Papers – Whisky Business: regulating and recording the whisky industry

2023 marked the 200th anniversary of the 1823 Excise Act which had a profound impact on the development of the whisky industry in Scotland. Today Scotch Whisky has become the UK’s biggest food and drink export with more Scotch Whisky sold worldwide than Irish, US and Japanese whiskies combined worth more than £5.5bn to the economy (source).


History and heritage are crucial to the industry which has a growing number of corporate archivists, a development that dates back to 1990 when United Distillers Ltd first established their archive now managed as the Diageo Archive. Furthermore, there are rich resources for researching the whisky industry with nearly 100 archive collections relating to whisky distilleries held in repositories and by private collectors across Scotland. In addition to these business archives, records relating to the whisky industry can also be found in public records such as parliamentary papers and customs & excise records alongside the records of various trade associations.


This special issue of the journal is interested in articles that share recent research into any aspect of the whisky industry that has made use of archive collections. We also encourage articles from archivists who may wish to reflect on the ways in which the collections they manage have been used by business for their own purposes such as celebrating anniversaries or product development.


Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • The development of the whisky industry since 1823
  • Histories (comparative or otherwise) of distilleries
  • The global impact of Scotland’s whisky industry
  • Challenges of collection development and/or archival research in the 21st century
  • Resurrecting distilleries and brands through archival research
  • Case studies exploring business archive collections in focus




We welcome a range of papers in different formats and word lengths from articles, reviews, case studies, collections in focus pieces and reflections. Articles will typically be between 5,000-8,000 words but other pieces will be shorter. The style guide for submissions is available here.

If you would like to discuss a potential submission, please email us with the word ‘journal’ in the subject.

  • Intent to submit: 31 March 2024 (please email a title and abstract of up to 250 words to businessarchivesscotland @
  • Paper submission deadline: 1 June 2024
  • Publication date: November 2024


All articles are peer reviewed in an open, transparent and supportive manner. Submissions are particularly encouraged from PhD students and early career researchers and archivists.


Full contributions should be submitted to the Editorial Committee by 1 June 2024 via an open access platform provided by the University of Glasgow. This platform will go live in March 2024 and be available here.




Two £300 prizes will be available for each issue of the journal in memory of Michael Moss and Lesley Richmond. Both of whom were former BACS Convenors and great supporters of business archives in Scotland who sadly passed away in 2020 and 2022 respectively. Details will be shared here shortly.



Editorial Board

The editorial board consists of a mix of academics and archivists:

  • Alison Turton, Archive Consultant
  • Andrew Perchard, University of Otago
  • Chris Cassells, National Library of Scotland
  • Chris Miller, University of Glasgow
  • Kiara King, The Ballast Trust
  • Niall MacKenzie, University of Glasgow
  • Zoi Pittaki, University of Dundee



2025 Issue

It is our intention to publish an issue of the journal in Autumn 2025. If you are interested in submitting content for a general issue on any aspect of business and industrial history that uses archival resources then you are welcome to get in touch. Submission deadlines will be June 2025.



History of the journal

The BIH journal has been published by BACS since 1977 and was previously known as Scottish Business and Industrial History (2011-2023) and Scottish Industrial History (1977-2010). During this time it published historical research by professional historians and independent scholars, covering a wide range of topics on Scotland’s business and industrial past. into all periods and facets of Scotland’s industrial and commercial past.


Back copies of the journal have been digitised and are available on our past-view website thanks to the support of Townsweb Archiving.

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