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archaeological and historical societies


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The Society of Antiquaries, which was founded in London in 1585, was the first society whose purpose was the study of antiquities, but it was far in advance of its time. The Society was re‐formed in 1717, from which time it has had a continuous history. A great surge of interest led to the formation of numerous provincial societies in the 19th century (see the antiquarian tradition). Many societies have published journals or transactions on an annual basis since their foundation, and some have printed much valuable material from local and national archives in their record series. These can usually be found on the shelves of public reference libraries and in local studies collections. They continue to form an essential starting point for much local research. Some counties and cities are very well served, but others have started record societies only in the last quarter of the 20th century. Local History Magazine prints occasional directories of local history societies operating at the county level under ‘CountyFILE’, together with news and information about county events. This gives the aims and objectives of county societies and lists their latest publications. See also David Hayns, ‘County Local History Organisations: A Report on the Recent B.A.L.H. Survey’, Local Historian, 22/2 (1992). See also E. L. C. Mullins (ed.), Texts and Calendars: A Guide to the Historical and Archaeological Publications of Societies in England and Wales, 1901–33 (1968).

Subjects: History.


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