The first conference of the then Scottish Catholic Historical Committee was held in May 1949 at Polmont in Stirlingshire, under the auspices of the Edinburgh branch of the Newman Association of Great Britain. Attended by over 30 people, it heard four papers: Mr Donald Nicholl, who spoke on the Catholic's approach to history; Fr Anthony Ross OP, on the contribution made to Scottish historical studies by Catholic scholars; Fr David McRoberts on the Scottish Colleges on the continent; and Brother Clare (Dr Handley) on the work still to be done in Scottish social and economic history.
Before the conference ended, a committee was formed to plan another conference the following year. The meeting of the Scottish Catholic Hierarchy in October 1949 gave the committee it's recognition and blessing to the work it was pursuing. It was agreed that there would be an attempt to produce publications, continue with the annual conferences and carry forward the well progressed plans for the publication of the bi-annual review, to be called The Innes Review in commemoration of Father Thomas Innes, the most notable of Scottish Catholic historical writers.