The Research Book of the Year 2019 was 

Working Verse in Victorian Scotland: Poetry, Press, Community
by Kirstie Blair

The Shortlistees were:

Working Verse in Victorian Scotland: Poetry, Press, Community
by Kirstie Blair
published by Oxford University Press

This book presents the conclusions of a detailed study of poetry which was written and read widely in Victorian Scotland but which has been largely ignored by literary scholars.  It focusses on working class poetry which was published in the popular press – looking at over 30 widely circulated local newspapers from across Scotland – and assesses its impact on politics and culture. In doing so, it enhances our understanding of the scope and role of Scottish literature during this period. It also underlines the importance of newspapers as a source of information about the cultural changes that took place in Victorian Scotland as a result of industrialisation, and explores the new ways of reading newspapers made possible by digitisation.

The Scottish Clearances: A History of the Dispossessed, 1600-1900

By Thomas Devine
published by Allen Lane a Penguin Books

This book is based on four decades of research into Scottish history, and as such it provides a unique personal perspective as it re-evaluates the story – or stories – of the Clearances. This is an emotive period which still resonates today in Scotland and in the lands where forced and voluntary emigrants made their new homes.  This study skilfully navigates through this complex territory, returning constantly to the evidence – drawn from censuses, estate papers, church and court records, as well as the official reports to Parliament. This work sharpens the focus on Highland clearances through a careful comparative study with similar changes in the Lowlands of Scotland.

Energy at the End of the World: An Orkney Islands Saga

By Laura Watts
published by The MIT Press

This book is an ethnographic study of an emerging industry, charting the rise of renewable energy and particularly marine energy in the Orkney Islands.  Focussing on the people as much as the technology, this study explores the nature of collaboration and community as much as investment and invention. How does a group of islands on the edge function as a more than just a network of companies who have come to test and experiment with generating electricity from the sea? How do the people respond to transformative technological change and how do they navigate the social, economic and political implications?  The answers are sought through observations and exchanges with the people involved and presented in an intertwined narrative which looks at these issues from multiple perspectives.