Who we are

What is an Antiquary?

We are grateful to Fellows Rosemary Sweet, Emma Carver and John Cooper, who in 2019 tackled this question.

The term ‘antiquary’ first appeared in England in the sixteenth century, and referred to anyone who studied or collected the textual or material remains of the past.  By the time of the Society’s foundation in 1707 this definition still held, and the Society’s membership encompassed remarkably diverse interests.

Today archaeologists, historians, anthropologists and art historians all fall within the sphere of the antiquarian project, unified by their curiosity in the human journey through time.  The ambition to preserve and record the past that prompted the Society’s first founders has grown to sustain our modern heritage sector, and so our membership includes archivists, curators, conservators and other heritage professionals.

You can read about our recent activities in our Annual Review or Fellowship News which is published twice a year. Recent editions below.

Read more about the Society

Interior view of room with benches

How we are run

Want to know more about how we are run? Find out more about our governance here.

Our history

Find out more about our history

Exterior view of main entrance of Burlington House


Meet the team at Burlington House


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