RHS Library & Archive

The Royal Historical Society library holds more than a thousand works of historical scholarship published from the mid-sixteenth century to the present day.

It has been acquired over the years by gift, bequest and purchase. The collection has grown since the earliest years of the Society charting the development of our historical research and scholarship. It is largely focused on British history and antiquities.

The Society’s library and archive collection is listed below by chronological category and series type. The collection is open to the Society’s membership and interested members of the public.

Royal Historical Society Library

The RHS Library has two reading rooms and is located within the main library of University College London, next to the RHS Office and Council Chamber. RHS Fellows and Members are welcome to visit the Society’s Library, and also the main UCL collection.

If you wish to visit the RHS Library please make an appointment via administration@royalhistsoc.org.









The Library also maintains a listing of UK and Irish historical and record societies providing contacts for research; a number of publications for these societies are available in the RHS collection and the UCL History Library.


Royal Historical Society Archive

The Society has a small archive collection which charts the rise of the historical profession in the UK from the late 19th and early 20th-centuries.

The Archive includes the Minute Books and other papers of the Society; records of the Camden Society from 1838 until its merger with the Royal Historical Society in 1897; the papers of two past RHS Presidents, Sir George Prothero and Sir Geoffrey Elton; and other miscellaneous material acquired by gift and bequest.

The Society’s archival collection is in the process of being catalogued.


RHS Collection includes: 1. Institutional Papers
  • Camden Society Papers: minute books from its foundation to amalgamation with the RHS, 1838-1897
  • Royal Historical Society Records: agenda, minutes, correspondence, memoranda etc, from 1868
  • Royal Historical Society Fellowship: application papers and records for Fellows, from 1887
  • Records of the British National Committee of the International Committee of Historical Sciences: correspondence etc, 1972-1993
2. Personal Papers
  • Papers of Frederick Solly Flood (1801-1888), diplomat: unpublished manuscripts
  • Papers of Revd Dr Charles Rogers (1825-1890), historian: pamphlets and autobiography
  • Papers of Sir George Prothero (1848-1922), historian: correspondence, personal papers, manuscripts
  • Papers of Samuel Rawson Gardiner (1892-1902), historian: transcripts of publications and some personal correspondence
  • Papers of Sir Geoffrey Elton (1921-1994), historian: papers relating mainly to publications and literary estate

The Archive is currently open to Fellows and Members: if  you wish to visit please make an appointment via administration@royalhistsoc.org.