- 1904-2003 (Creation)
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The Canterbury and York Society was founded in 1904 with the purpose of 'transcribing or photographing, printing or publishing bishops' registers and other ecclesiastical records'. These publications were distributed to members as part of their annual subscription.
The archbishops of Canterbury and York were from the start the presidents of the Society. The Society appointed a treasurer and joint secretaries. It retained joint secretaries until 1938 when the Annual General Meeting elected only one secretary for the first time. From 1911 to 1922 the role of secretary was combined with that of general editor, but from this point the posts were held by two separate individuals.
In 1919 the appointment of a permanent chair was made for the first time. Meetings were halted briefly during the Second World War, for part of 1940 and 1941.
By the 1920s, Council had become a more academic body with the number of clergymen on it reduced in number. The Society has retained its academic focus to the present day, with the current Council made up of a mixture of academics and archivists. The Society holds regular Council meetings as well as its Annual General Meetings at which a talk is given: early talks were on specific registers, but recent talks are on a wider variety of subjects of academic interest.
From just under 100 members at its inception, the Society has increased to a level of approximately 250 members. Notable members include Eric Kemp, Bishop of Chichester, and Norah Gurney, Director of the Borthwick Institute.
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Description compiled by Philippa Hoskin on 7 April 2008.