The Royal Netherlands Historical Society (Koninklijk Nederlands Historisch Genootschap), founded in 1845, is the oldest and largest historical society in The Netherlands. It speaks for the interest of history and historians. The society aims at the promotion of historical studies and the dissemination of historical research with special regard to the history of The Low Countries. The RNHS serves more than 1500 history professionals: academics, students, teachers, and historians working in museums, archives, libraries and the heritage industry. As the umbrella organisation for the profession the RNHS offers a platform to its members and to the historical community at large. It plays an important public role as a leader and public advocate for the field.
The society is governed by a board composed of historians of different stripe. Day to day operations are in the hands of the RNHS office in The Hague under the direction of Dr. Leonie de Goei. The society works closely with the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Huygens Institute of Netherlands History and the International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS).
The society sponsors a wide range of events. Each autumn the annual conference of the RNHS is held. The theme of the 2011 annual conference was ‘Cool, Calm and Collected. The Dutch and their Emotions in Pre-Modern Times’; the theme of the 2012 annual conference is ‘Voorwerpen maken geschiedenis. Niet-schriftelijke bronnen in historisch onderzoek’. Throughout the year meetings are held on topical issues such as the new Museum of National History. The RNHS helps those engaged in PhD research to organize their own annual scholarly (spring) conferences.
The society’s flagship publication is the quarterly peer reviewed Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden – Low Countries Historical Review (BMGN – LCHR). BMGN – LCHR is also online at www.bmgn-lchr.nl. Members of the editorial board are renowned scholars from The Netherlands and Flanders. The editorial board is assisted by an international advisory board of experts in the field of the history of The Low Countries. BMGN – LCHR presents the history of the Netherlands (North and South) to the international research community and includes both Dutch and English articles and reviews. BMGN – LCHR also gives an overview of the current state of research in the form of discussions and an extensive review section. From 2010 onward BMGN – LCHR will be transformed into a bilingual open-access journal.
The RNHS also publishes a newsletter, see www.knhg.nl/nieuwsbrief.