The Society is very pleased to have recently received generous support, from the Marc Fitch Fund, for the second phase of its archive development programme.
This new funding award follows the completion in January 2022 of ‘phase one’ of the project which saw cataloguing and conservation of the Society’s collection of papers relating to the historian and government adviser, Sir George W. Prothero (1848-1922). Further details of the Prothero section of the archive are available here.
Over the coming few months we will continue to research, catalogue and publicise three remaining areas of the Society’s collection:
- papers relating to the running, membership and management of the Society, from its foundation in 1868 to 2019
- papers of the Camden Society, founded in 1838, which merged with the Society in 1897
- correspondence of the Tudor historian, Professor Sir Geoffrey Elton (1922-1994), concerning his publications and literary estate
In each case, work will see the creation of a new online catalogue, re-ordering of collection items, conservation and correct storage, and scanning of selected papers. The next phase of work will be undertaken by the Zoë Karens, who also oversaw completion of the Prothero catalogue in 2020-21. Zoë is a former archivist at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.
Phase two of the project begins shortly with a review of papers relating to the Society, its activities, membership and management. Items here include the Society’s minutes, agenda and attendance books dating from the early 1870s; early financial and administrative records; fellowship and membership records; accounts of projects undertaken by the Society; and event cards advertising annual lectures from 1905 to 2022.
Below you’ll find a small selection of items relating to the Society which will be included in this work. Details of the new catalogues will be publicised and explained in the coming months as work on each of the three sections — RHS collection, Camden Society, and Elton correspondence — is completed.
“All that is best in British hospitality was displayed in the entertainments which were tendered to members, especially to the foreign members, in lavish profusion. Evenings from half-past four o’clock on, were happily left free for such pleasures.
Two evenings before the formal opening of the sessions the Royal Historical Society gave a handsome dinner in the Venetian room of the Holborn Restaurant, at which Professor Charles H. Firth, president of the society, presided, and at which response to his address of welcome were made by Professor Eduard Meyer of Berlin, Professor Henri Cordier or Paris, and another address by the presentative of the American Historical Association, Professor Charles H Haskins on Harvard University.”
Report on the International Congress of Historical Studies, American Historical Review, 1913.
More about the RHS archive
The Society’s archive is located in the RHS office at University College London. It is available for consultation, with priority bookings given to Fellows and Members of the Society to undertake research.
With our development programme, we hope to bring the archive to wider public attention, as an important statement on the development and membership of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century historical profession in Britain and overseas.
For more on the Society’s collections, please see the Library & Archive pages of the RHS website.