The Society for Court Studies was founded in London in 1995 by John Adamson, Pauline Croft, Philip Mansel, Robert Oresko, David Starkey and Simon Thurley as a forum for scholars, writers, curators and members of the public to exchange knowledge and ideas about all aspects of royal and princely courts. The purpose was to create an interdisciplinary framework for the study of the many different sides of court history, from antiquity until the present, throughout the world. Since its establishment, the Society has attracted members working in the fields of music, literature and gender studies, as well as political, social, diplomatic, intellectual, art, architectural and landscape history.
The Society for Court Studies is international, with members worldwide. A North American chapter was established in 1998. The Society is a member of the Court Studies Forum, linking it with similar organisations in Europe, including the Centre de Recherche of the Château de Versailles, the Centro Studi Europa delle Corti in Ferrara and La Corte en Europa Institute of the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid.
The Society is also a member of the Royal Studies Network, an international community of scholars working on a wide range of topics related to monarchy across countries and periods. The Royal Studies Network brings together academics, students and independent scholars from any discipline whose interests focus on or connect to royal themes.
The Society for Court Studies holds monthly seminars in London during the academic year. In addition, the Society organises regular conferences examining particular aspects of court history. The Society has hosted several conferences on location at venues including the Tower of London, Hampton Court, the Palace of Westminster, the Venaria Reale, Turin and Rubens House, Antwerp.
The Society’s journal, The Court Historian – The International Journal of Court History, is published twice a year and is the leading periodical in the field of court studies.