About The Society Of Antiquaries London

Our Mission

"The encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries." The Society of Antiquaries of London, Royal Charter, 1751.

Core Values

Click here to download Council's latest statement of values (mentioned by President Gill Andrews in her 2015 Presidential Address).

Fellowship, Conservation, Research and Dissemination

The Society was founded in 1707 and today our 3,000 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 (207237), 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.

We support those charitable objectives on a daily basis through our Library and Museum collections (at Burlington House and at Kelmscott Manor), through our conservation and research grant awards, our programme of events (lectures and seminars), communications such as publications, our website and our e-newsletter.

The Society of Antiquaries receives no direct support from public funds.

Our Strategic Objectives

  • To conserve and develop the research and educational potential of the buildings, collections and library at Burlington House and Kelmscott Manor and to make these resources more accessible to Fellows and the wider public.
  • To engage, enthuse and foster the Fellowship and staff in pursuing the aims of the Society to further our understanding of the past and influence the heritage sector and the general public.
  • To ensure the Society remains fit to meet its objectives now and in the future.

The Society Supports and Promotes:

  • Recognition of the relevance of understanding the past to present and future generations and how the past provides key resources with which people and communities identify.
  • Appreciation of the material remains of the past created by all peoples in all parts of the world and a respectful attitude towards different ways and traditions of valuing the past.
  • Recognition of the duty of care incumbent on owners and guardians of heritage, both public and private, to protect and conserve the material residues of the past for future generations. Encouragement of the sustainable management of remains of the past as a resource for study and public engagement.
  • Rigorous research on the archaeological and historic resource, so that knowledge and understanding of human history and development in its physical and cultural environments will continue to grow.
  • The critical importance of developing our interpretations of the past through research based on scientific principles, i.e. “…the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence” (Science Council’s definition).
  • Academic and public debate on research findings, which is viewed as essential to the critical evaluation and advancement of the understanding of the past.
  • The support and promotion of the diverse range of institutions that facilitate research (e.g. those organisations, public and private, that collect, curate and encourage use of heritage resources).
  • The growth of the wider research and heritage community through partnership and collaboration with other institutions and stakeholders.
  • Widening engagement in the study, debate, and enjoyment of the material past, appealing to audiences that have traditionally been excluded from this process.
  • The development of new approaches to enhancing the wider public appreciation of the past.
  • Efforts to stop the willful destruction of the archaeological and historic resource and the illicit trade in antiquities. Active and determined efforts to develop effective legal frameworks for the protection of cultural heritage, through a responsible approach both to consultation and campaigning.