Dr Karen ‘Kit’ Baston is a historian, bibliographer, and freelance writer and researcher interested in aspects of the long eighteenth century especially in a British context.

She specialises in  early modern Scottish lawyers’ libraries, Scottish legal history, the history of the book, and social history. She was Project Manager for ‘William Hunter’s Library: A transcription of the early catalogues’ at the University of Glasgow and Research Assistant for the ‘Glasgow Borrowing Registers’ project, also at the University of Glasgow.

She is currently a research associate on the AHRC-funded project ‘Books and Borrowing, 1750-1830: An Analysis of Scottish Borrowers’ Registers’.

Other Publications


Charles Areskine’s Library: Scottish Lawyers and Their Books at the Dawn of the Enlightenment (Leiden: Brill, 2016)

The Roman Law Library of Alan Ferguson Rodger, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, with a Bibliography of His Works by Karen Baston and Ernest Metzger (Glasgow: Traditio Iuris Romani, 2012)


Karen Baston, ‘Nineteenth-Century Nimbys: Henry Raeburn versus the Stockbridge Steam Engine’, 12, new ser., The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club (2016), pp. 27-36. (Download pdf)

Karen G. Baston and John W. Cairns, ‘An Elegant Legal Education: The Studies of Charles Binning, a Scottish Pupil of Cornelis van Eck’, 83(1-2) Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis (2015), pp. 179-201.
DOI: 10.1163/15718190-08312p09


Karen Baston, ‘A Family of Readers in Eighteenth-century Scotland: the Areskines of Alva and their Books’ in Elizabethanne Boran (ed), Book Collecting in Ireland and Britain, 1650–1850 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2018).

Karen G. Baston, ‘Humanist Books and Lawyers’ Libraries in Early Eighteenth Century Scotland: Charles Areskine of Alva’s Library’ in John W. Cairns and Paul J. du Plessis (eds), Reassessing Legal Humanism and its Claims: Petere Fontes?, Edinburgh Studies in Law (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), pp. 348-376.


‘Book Review: John Finlay, The Community of the College of Justice: Edinburgh and the Court of Session, 1687-1808 (EUP, 2012)’ in Eighteenth-Century Scotland: The Newsletter of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, 27 (2013), pp. 32-33


Research Associate: Books and Borrowing, 1750-1830: An Analysis of Scottish Borrowers’ Registers, University of Glasgow, 2020-2023.

Research Assistant: Enlightenment Readers in the Scottish Universities: University of Glasgow Borrowing Registers, 1751-1790, University of Glasgow, 2018-2019

Project Manager: William Hunter’s Library: A Transcription of the Early Catalogues, University of Glasgow, 2016-2017

Research Assistant: Natural Law in Scotland, Edinburgh Law School, 2012-2013 https://blogs.sps.ed.ac.uk/naturallawinscotland1625to1850/


Bibliographical Society of London

Centre for Legal History (Edinburgh)

Society of Authors

Stair Society (Publicity and Engagement Manager)

Karen 'Kit' Baston

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