After teaching in various capacities at the universities of Glasgow, St Andrews and Stirling Alastair Mann joined the Department in September 2005.
He is an authority on the early book trade of Scotland. This interest in the book trade developed from an earlier career as a book publisher and managing editor at Penguin Books in London in the 1970s and 1980s, after studying Publishing Studies at Napier University, Edinburgh. Subsequently, when he returned to Scotland for an academic career and did his undergraduate degree and doctoral thesis at the University of Stirling, it made perfect sense to continue that interest in the press and early publishing.
After obtaining his PhD in 1997, Dr Mann became a research fellow in the Scottish Parliament Project based at St Andrews University (1998-2005) which has produced, under the directorship of Professor Keith Brown, the major online resource The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland (rps.ac.uk). Working chiefly on the period 1660 to 1707 he was co-editor of this project when it went live in 2008 and over the last decade has published widely on parliamentary history and the politics of seventeenth century Scotland, including The History of the Scottish Parliament, volume 2: Parliament and Politics in Scotland, 1567-1707 (2005), for which he is co-editor, and The History of the Scottish Parliament volume 3: Parliament in Context, 1235-1707 (2010), to which he has contributed two major chapters. In the light of his knowledge of the pre-1707 parliament he has advised the BBC on matters of ceremonial for the state openings of the new Scottish Parliament.
Meanwhile, in 2000 his monograph The Scottish Book Trade, 1500 to 1720 (2000) won the Scottish Saltire Prize as research book of the year, and he continues to publish on Scottish book on subjects such as copyright and censorship. He is also co-editor of the History of the Book in Scotland: medieval to 1707 (2014). In addition, and reflecting his interest in Restoration history, he is writing a biography of James VII and II entitled James VII and II: duke and king of Scots (Birlinn, 2013)