Royal Historical Society

Last updated
Royal Historical Society
Royal Historical Society logo.svg
AbbreviationRHistS, RHS
Formation1868;153 years ago (1868)
Merger of Camden Society (1897) with the RHS
Registration no.206888
Legal status Charity
PurposeHistorical studies
HeadquartersUniversity College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT
Membership (2021)
Over 4,500 members
Emma Griffin
Main organ
Formerly called
The Historical Society

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



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. However, in the middle and later twentieth century the RHS took on a more active role in representing the discipline and profession of history.

Current activities

The society exists to promote historical research in the United Kingdom and worldwide, representing historians of all kinds. Its activities primarily concern advocacy and policy research, training, publishing, grants and research support, especially for early career historians, and awards and professional recognition. It provides a varied programme of lectures and one-day and two-day conferences and symposia covering diverse historical topics. It convenes in London and from time to time elsewhere throughout the United Kingdom. Since 1967 it has been based at University College London. [3]


The society is governed by a board of trustees called the council, which is chaired by the RHS President. The president and members of council are elected from the society's fellows. There are 22 councillors, each of whom serves a four-year term. Every year the fellowship elects three new members of council using a preferential voting system. Council members come from a wide variety of backgrounds and research interests. [4]

List of RHS Presidents

The presidents of the society have been: [5] [6]

Members and Fellows

The society's membership comprises honorary vice-presidents (management), fellows (entitled to use FRHistS, [7] formerly FRHistSoc, as post-noms), who are elected, corresponding fellows, members and associates. A current list of fellows and members is maintained online by the RHS. [8]

RHS Publications

The society's publications include its monographic series Studies in History (1975–2020) and New Historical Perspectives (2016–), [9] its annual Transactions [10] (first published as Transactions of the Historical Society, 1872), [11] 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 society runs an active open-access online blog, entitled Historical Transactions. [12] It was established in 2018 as part of the commemoration of the Royal Historical Society’s 150th Anniversary.

RHS Prizes

The regular prizes, awards and recognitions granted by the society include: [13]

See also

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  1. Library of Congress authorities
  2. Milne, Alexander Taylor (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. p. 49n. ISBN   9780901050007.
  3. "History of the Society". RHS. Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  4. "RHS Officers".
  5. "Presidents of the Royal Historical Society" (PDF). 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2021-08-08.
  6. "Past Presidents" . Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  7. "Membership". RHS. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  8. "RHS Fellows and Members". RHS. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  9. "New Historical Perspectives". RHS. Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  10. "Transactions of the RHS". RHS. Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  11. 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)
  12. "Historical Transactions". RHS.
  13. "Prizes". RHS. Retrieved 2021-09-09.