Berkshire Record Society was founded in October 1993 to print scholarly editions of important documents on the history of Berkshire held in the Berkshire Record Office and elsewhere. Our aim is to publish one volume each year and we welcome ideas for new projects.
Before the Society was formed there was no systematic programme of publishing historic records in Berkshire. Yet the county has a rich heritage of written records. The Society has selected a wide variety of documents ranging in date from the middle ages to the nineteenth century as the subjects for its volumes. Twenty-six volumes have been published and more are in preparation. Each volume contains the printed transcript of an original text, fully annotated, with a scholarly introduction and an index.
The Society is backed by the History Department of the University of Reading and by the Berkshire Record Office and has individual and institutional members from around the world including many leading university and national libraries.
On this website you will find details of the benefits of membership; how to join the Society and how to order our publications which are available to members and to non-members.
Since its foundation, the Society has made an important contribution to scholarship in Berkshire.
Berkshire Record Society needs your help!!
We are looking for a motivated and organized individual to join our team as the Membership Secretary.
If becoming a member of the Berkshire Record Society and taking on the role of Membership Secretary interests you, we would love to hear from you. Please complete the form to the right.
Take a look at the job description if you think you might be interested. Being a vital part of the Society, this role is quite important, and we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
All published volumes are carefully edited, comprehensively indexed and include introductions explaining the background to the documents they present. They are attractively produced and uniformly bound in soft covers.
The majority of past volumes are available for purchase through the Berkshire Record Society.
Volume 1 is now out of print but is available online.
Membership of Berkshire Record Society
Individual – Individuals (over the age of 18 years) who are interested in furthering the work of the Society.
Joint – Two persons residing at the same address and being members of same household may be Joint Members of the Society. Each such Joint Member shall enjoy all the privileges and responsibilities of Individual membership of the Society, including the entitlement to vote at General Meetings of the Society and to stand for election to membership of the Society’s Council, but Joint Members shall be entitled between them to only one copy of each of the Society’s publications.
Corporate – Any body corporate or unincorporated association which is interested in furthering the Society’s work.
Our Council Members
Mr James Puxley, Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire
Professor Ralph Houlbrooke
Dr Margaret Simons
Professor Anne Curry
Professor Donald Matthew
Members of the Society will be sad to read of the death of Donald Matthew (1930-2021), our first Chairman (1993-8). He died at the age of ninety on 27 February. A distinguished historian of the Middle Ages, Donald Matthew was Professor of History at the University of Reading from 1979 until his retirement in 1995, and twice served as Head of Department during that time. The establishment of the Berkshire Record Society in 1993 resulted from the joint initiative of Professor Matthew and Dr Peter Durrant, then County Archivist. Professor Matthew organized a successful application for a grant from the University to pay the salary of a Research Officer. The appointment to this post of the subsequently well-known historian Ian Mortimer, who edited two volumes for the BRS, enabled the Society to maintain its early publication momentum. Professor Matthew led the Steering Group that worked for the foundation of the Society before serving as Chairman of its Council.
The foundation of the Society is described in his article for the 1994 issue of Berkshire Old and New