An international conference ‘Groups – St Andrews 1989’ was held in the Mathematical Institute, University of St Andrews, Scotland during the period 29 July to 12 August 1989. A total of 293 people from 37 different countries registered for the conference. The initial planning for the conference began in July 1986 and in the summer of 1987 invitations were given to Professor J A Green (Warwick), Professor N D Gupta (Manitoba), Professor O H Kegel (Freiburg), Professor A Yu Ol'shanskii (Moscow) and Professor J G Thompson (Cambridge). They all accepted our invitation and gave courses at the conference of three or four lectures. We were particularly pleased that Professor Ol'shanskii was able to make his first visit to the West. The above courses formed the main part of the first week of the conference. All the above speakers have contributed articles based on these courses to the Proceedings.
In the second week of the conference there were fourteen one-hour invited survey lectures and a CAYLEY workshop with four main lectures. In addition there was a full programme of research seminars. The remaining articles in the two parts of the Proceedings arise from these invited lectures and research seminars.
The two volumes of the Proceedings of Groups – St Andrews 1989 are similar in style to ‘Groups – St Andrews 1981’ and ‘Proceedings of Groups – St Andrews 1985’ both published by Cambridge University Press in the London Mathematical Society Lecture Notes Series.