About the Society of Antiquaries
The Society of Antiquaries of London is charged by its Royal Charter of 1751 with ‘the encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries’. It celebrated its Tercentenary in 2007.
The Society’s 2,900 Fellows include many distinguished archaeologists and art and architectural historians holding positions of responsibility across the cultural heritage. The Fellowship is international in its reach and its interests are inclusive of all aspects of the material past.
As a registered charity, the Society’s principal objectives are to foster public understanding of that heritage, to support research and communicate the results and to engage in the formulation of public policy on the care of our historic environment and cultural property. The Society of Antiquaries receives no direct support from public funds.
The Society’s library is the leading archaeological library in the UK and we encourage its use by researchers and students. The online catalogue is internationally available via the internet.
The Society operates a number of annual grant programmes for established researchers and for young archaeologists and art historians.
The Society’s publications - the Antiquaries Journal and Archaeologia - are international journals of record, used by students and scholars everywhere, as are the Society’s Research Reports, Occasional Papers and other publications. Our policy is to publish works of reference that will be in use for decades.
The Society runs an annual programme of weekly lectures – at which new research is presented to Fellows and other researchers and students – as well as conferences and seminars.
The Society’s premises are a national and international centre for antiquarian activity, made available for lectures, conferences, seminars and meetings to a wide range of allied bodies, including numerous voluntary bodies for whom Burlington House functions as their London base. The Society shares Burlington House with the Royal Academy of Arts and four other national Learned Societies – the Chemists, Geologists, Astronomers and Linnean - collectively forming a cultural campus in the heart of London. Together we organize a joint programme of events to promote public understanding of the heritage, the arts and the sciences and to explore the links between them.
The Society’s Registered Museum is one of the oldest in the world and our collections of antiquities, paintings, prints and manuscripts provide a resource for researchers around the world. The Society operates an active external loans programme, ensuring that the finest objects from our collections are accessible to museum and gallery visitors around the UK and abroad.
The country home of William Morris, Fellow and leader of the English Arts and Crafts movement, belongs to the Society, along with its contents and its estate. This historic Thames-side manor house welcomes a large number of visitors each year.
Through the William and Jane Morris Fund the Society makes small grants to churches for conservation purposes.
The Society uses the expertise of its Fellows to influence public opinion and to engage in the formulation of public policy on the preservation, management and wider understanding of the cultural heritage. It encourages informed debate and hosts regular public meetings on topical issues.