Strategy & Values

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).

“To understand how people live and think through the places they live and the things they create.” (2023 Strategy)

Our Values

As part of the 2023-2033 strategy development, the Council refreshed and simplified the values set to better reflect what we believe and how we work and behave.

Appreciation Appreciation of the material remains of the past created by all peoples in all parts of the world, and a respectful attitude towards different traditions of understanding and valuing the past
Relevance Recognition of the relevance of understanding the past to present and future generations, and the importance of protecting and conserving our material heritage as key resources for study and public engagement.
Diversity Promotion of diversity of opinion, specialism and background among our Fellowship, Affiliate Membership, audiences and across the sector, regardless of gender, sexuality, race or [dis]ability.
Rigour Commitment to excellence and rigour in research, based on scientific principles, evidence and challenge, so that understanding of human life in its physical and cultural environments will continue to grow.
Partnership Support for the wider research and heritage community through partnership and collaboration with other institutions and stakeholders.
Engagement Active promotion of debate and wider engagement, study and enjoyment of the material past, including developing new approaches and appealing to audiences that have traditionally been excluded from this process.

Nourish our community, stimulate our sector, excite the world, organise to deliver

The Society of Antiquaries of London is a heritage charity that promotes understanding of the human past and recognises distinction in this field through election to its Fellowship.

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

  • Nourish our community
    • Redefine what it means to be part of a learned society in a modern world, ensuring that the Society of Antiquaries is at the centre us and is active and engaged in support of its Fellowship and Affiliate members.
  • Stimulate our sector
    • Ensure our Library and collections are relevant, reviewed regularly and cared for appropriately to inspire the curious and support research.
  • Excite the world
    • Increase our engagement with new audiences as well as Fellows and Affiliates to create a diverse and thriving community excited by the material past.
  • Organise to deliver
    • Create effective structures, collaborative working and clear decision making processes that helps drive the organisation forward.


What We Do

Not sure what we do? Find out here.

About Us

Find out more about how we are run, our history and our staff