Historical Transactions was created as part of the Society’s 150th anniversary in 2018.
When the RHS reached a hundred, it published A Centenary Guide to the Publications of the Royal Historical Society 1868-1968 and of the Former Camden Society 1838-97 (1968). A 260-page hardback, this volume represented much that was – and continues to be – central to the Society’s activities, as exemplified in publication of our annual, peer-reviewed Transactions (whose title inspired the name of our blog), the volumes in our Camden Series of annotated editions of primary sources, and the monographs of early career researchers published in our Studies in History series (which will see its 100th volume appear in the anniversary year).
Our decision to commemorate (and interrogate) the 150th anniversary with an open-access online blog reflects the Society’s desire to complement our established engagement with traditional forms of History publication, while developing new ones. The RHS’s longstanding commitment to comprehensive, high-calibre bibliographies of British history is now best reflected in the online Bibliography of British & Irish History, produced in partnership with the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) and published by Brepols; our early career monograph publishing is now shifting to an online open-access format (accompanied by print-on-demand hardbacks) with the launch of our open-access New Historical Perspectives series. In this spirit, and in the wider context of more dynamic practices of production within the discipline of History, an anniversary blog – involving our Fellows, Members and Postgraduate Members, as well as other historians – proved more appealing to us than a standard commemorative volume.
This blog will, we hope, afford new opportunities for a wide range of historians to engage with the RHS’s past and its present. The Society has developed a wide-ranging programme of anniversary activities throughout the UK, which will follow on from an official 150th launch at the Anniversary Meeting in November 2017. New posts will be added to the blog regularly, and can also be accessed from our Twitter. If you are interested in participating as an author yourself, please contact us with your idea here.
To find out more about the RHS, to apply to become a member, or to attend one of our free public events, please see our website. I very much hope to meet many of you over the coming year.
Professor Margot Finn
President, Royal Historical Society