The need to protect and preserve the monuments and buildings of the past is ongoing.
Historians will always need to return to the manuscripts and written records of the past to question the work of their predecessors, to try and find the right meaning that can be drawn from the evidence. At the same time, archaeologists, now equipped with a whole range of scientific dating methods, draw on other disciplines so that more and more can be learnt from each object uncovered.
With many fundamental questions still to be answered and a broad range of membership, the Society of Antiquaries will still play an important role.
This text is abridged from the Royal Academy Education Department's guide, Making History: Antiquaries in Britain, 1707-2007: An Introduction, by Greg Harris.