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Society of Antiquaries of London
The Society of Antiquaries of London is a learned society, based in the United Kingdom, concerned with "the encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries". An antiquary was a person interested in the study of the past, particularly the physical traces of the past. The term was current from the late 16th century to the 19th century. Antiquarianism then evolved into more specialised fields of interest such as archaeology, architectural history, art history, conservation, heraldry, anthropology, and ecclesiastical studies , and there is no such thing as a professional antiquary today. The continuing use of the word in the Society's name is an anachronism.
A precursor organisation, the College of Antiquaries, was founded in 1586 and functioned largely as a debating societu until it was forbidden to do so by James I in 1614. The Royal Society showed some interest in archaeology until in 1707 the Society of Antiquaries was founded - the first meeting taking place in the Bear Tavern in The Strand on the 5th December.
The Society received a Royal Charter in 1751.
Members of the Society, known as Fellows, are elected by existing members of the Society.
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