Royal Historical Society

The Royal Historical Society, founded 1868, is a learned society of the United Kingdom which advances scholarly studies of history.

Royal Historical Society
PurposeHistorical studies
Main organ
Formerly called
The Historical Society


The society was founded and received its royal charter in 1868. Until 1872 it was known as the Historical Society.[1] In 1897, it merged with (or absorbed) the Camden Society, founded in 1838.[2] In its origins, and for many years afterwards, the society was effectively a gentlemen's club.

Current activities

The society exists to promote historical research worldwide, representing historians engaged in professional research and presenting history in the public domain.

It provides a varied programme of lectures and one-day and two-day conferences covering various kinds of historical issues. It convenes in London and from time to time elsewhere throughout the United Kingdom. It is based at University College London.

The society's membership comprises honorary vice-presidents (management), fellows (entitled to use FRHistS,[3] formerly FRHistSoc, as post-noms), who are elected, corresponding fellows, members and associates.[4]

Its archives include many records of international as well as British history. The society encourages, promotes and sponsors (by way of grants) historical research, academic or otherwise. Publications include its monographic series Studies in History, its annual Transactions (first published as Transactions of the Historical Society, 1872,[5] and the Camden Series of editions and translations of texts; as well as digital publications, such as the Bibliography of British and Irish History.


The presidents of the society have been:[6]

See also


  1. Library of Congress authorities
  2. Taylor Milne 1968, p. 49n.
  3. "Membership". RHS. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  4. "RHS Fellows and Members". RHS. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  5. Vol. 1 ([1872])–v. 10 (1882); new ser., v. 1 (1883)–new ser., v. 20 (1906); 3rd ser., v. 1 (1907)–3rd ser., v. 11 (1917); 4th ser., v. 1 (1918)–4th ser., v. 32 (1950); 5th ser., v. 1 (1951)–5th ser., 40 (1990); 6th ser., 1 (1991)– (British Library catalogue)


  • Taylor Milne, Alexander (1968). A Centenary Guide to the Publications of the Royal Historical Society 1868–1968, and of the former Camden Society 1838–1897. Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks. London: Royal Historical Society.
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