As Fellows, Members and friends of the Royal Historical Society, I’m making an appeal to enable the RHS to take on new roles whilst continuing to maintain our traditions as a learned society.
Over the last decade we have had to adapt and grow in a new environment of online communication, reduced government funding for education, and a more atomised university system. In response we’ve taken on new roles – advocating for history with government and funding bodies, defending the academic career, representing the interests of historians of all kinds. We also spend more on our traditional roles as a publisher, a funder of postgraduate research and a body recognising excellence in the form of grants and prizes.
This appeal launches a special and concerted attempt to raise funds for the Society’s modest endowment so that we can support permanently these new and essential levels of activity. We have been fortunate with two immediate generous philanthropic donations. The Linbury Trust has donated £12,500 to support the Gladstone Prize for the next five years. And Professor Peter Baldwin and Dr Lisbet Rausing, Fellows of the Society, have made an exceptional donation of £25,000, plus another £25,000 in matching funds, if we can raise an equivalent amount from our supporters, which is why we need your help.
We have three immediate goals:
- to increase the sums we spend on grants to postgraduate researchers, for basic archival and travel expenses, as the funds available to them from their own institutions are cut back;
- to invest in our publications so that they can be made open access without requiring authors to pay to publish;
- to undertake more systematic research into issues facing the historical profession, following up our successful reports on early-career historians and on gender issues, to better inform our advocacy in the interests of history and historians.
I’m asking you to join me now in making a donation to help us reach our initial target of £25,000. If you are a UK tax payer you can increase the value of your gift by a further 25% at no extra cost to you. A donation from you of £40 with gift-aid and match funding will be worth £90 to the Society. Support the RHS by giving a gift securely online via credit or debit card or set up a regular donation through CAF Donate. Or download and complete our donation form and post it back to us.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your involvement and support as Fellows, Members and friends of the RHS, which we value greatly. Thank you too for considering making a donation. No matter the size, it will make a real difference to us and to our discipline.
Go to Support the RHS page