RAHS Background and Structure

The inaugural meeting of the Australian Historical Society was held at the Queen's Hall in Pitt Street, Sydney, on 15 March 1901. Membership grew slowly and by 1904 regular monthly meetings were held. The Society's Journal was founded and its public profile was enhanced by frequent letters to the press on matters of historical concern.

In 1915 Karl Reginald Cramp became honorary secretary and served for 40 years almost without interruption as an office bearer of the Society.

The Society was granted the right to prefix the title 'Royal' to its name in 1918. In 2001 the RAHS celebrated its Centenary.

Further Reading

The following articles from the Journal of the RAHS (listed in order of publication) will provide more information on the Society's history.

Cramp, K.R., 'Australian Historical Society - Story of its Foundation', JRAHS IV 1 (1917) pp 1-14

Walker, F., 'The Early Days of the Royal Australian Historical Society', JRAHS XII 4 (1926) pp 223-226

Cramp, K.R., 'Royal Australian Historical Society - 25 Years of Progress 1915-1940', JRAHS XXVII 2 (1941) pp 165-174

Bax, A.E., '"From the Acorn grows the Oak" - a short history of the Royal Australian Historical Society'. JRAHS XLVII 6 (1961), pp 317-334

McDonald, D.I., 'Sixty Years of Scholarship: the Journal of the Society 1906-1966', JRAHS LII 1 (1966) pp 69-72

Jacobs, M., 'The Royal Australian Historical Society 1900-1985. Part 1: "Students of a like hobby": the Society 1900-1954' JRAHS LXXIII 4 (1988) pp 243-266

King, H., 'The Royal Australian Historical Society 1900-1985. Part 2: Growth and Change: the Society 1955-1985' JRAHS LXXIII 4 (1988) pp 267-276

Fletcher, B.H., 'Australia's Oldest Historical Journal', JRAHS LXXX 1-2 (1994) pp 1-23

Frappell, R., 'Finding and Keeping "a home of its own": the search by the Royal Australian Historical Society for a permanent abode', JRAHS LXXXII 2 (1996) pp 210-227

Special Centenary issue, JRAHS LXXXVII 1 (2001)


The Patron-in-Chief of the RAHS is His Excellency Major-General Michael Jeffery, AC, CVO, MC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Patron of the RAHS is Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, Governor of New South Wales.

The RAHS comprises individual members, libraries and universities, as well as over 360 affiliated societies throughout New South Wales. Its officers and councillors are elected annually.

There are also a number of committees which include member representatives, such as the Library Committee and the Affiliated Societies Committee.

In addition to a small paid staff, the RAHS depends on the generosity of its members who volunteer to assist in organising events, answer research enquiries, assist library users and generally contribute to the success of its diverse activities.


RAHS Council 2007-2008

President Ian Jack MA, PhD, FRHistS, FRAHS

Senior Vice-President Anne-Maree Whitaker MA, PhD, FRHistS

Vice President Alan Ventress BA, DipLib

Treasurer Ivan Culo BBus (Acct)


Felicity Barry BA (Hons)

Julia Horne PhD

Siobhán Lavelle MA, PhD, MAACAI

Carol Liston BA (Hons), PhD, DipFHS, FRAHS

Susan McClean BSc, MA, PhD, Dip Museum Studies

Lesley Muir MA, PhD

Beverley Naughton

Kylie Rees BAppSc, AALIA

Peter Reynolds OAM, BArch, PhD


RAHS Staff

General Manager Mari Metzke DipTeach, GrDipEdStudies

Administrative Officer Leann Richards MA BTeach

Librarian Kathy Curran AssDipArts (LibPrac)

Accounts Administrator Romily Malacari

Administrative Assistant Charlotte Hannah BA (Hons)


How to contact us:

Royal Australian Historical Society, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia 2000

Phone: (+ 61-2) 9247 8001 Fax: (+ 61-2) 9247 7854

Email: history@rahs.org.au

Office hours 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays and the period between Christmas and New Year)

Library opening hours 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday