American Academy of
Research Historians of
Medieval Spain


AARHMS was founded as the Academy of American Research Historians on Medieval Spain by a group of historians who met at the December 1973 meeting of the American Historical Association in San Francisco. The intent of the organization was to create a professional association for medieval Hispanists and especially to promote research in medieval Iberian history. In 1976, AARHMS. received recognition as an Affiliated Society of the American Historical Association. AARHMS was rechristened in 1980 as the American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain, yielding its alphabetical priority in the AHA listing of Affiliated Societies in the interest of geographical inclusiveness. The founders of the organization were the pioneers of the modern, English-language study of medieval Spanish history; early officers and members include luminaries such as Father Robert I. Burns, S.J., Thomas N. Bisson, J.N. Hillgarth, Joseph O'Callaghan, Bernard F. Reilly, and Lynn H. Nelson.

AARHMS has regularly sponsored sessions at the AHA annual meeting and at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, Michigan, and occasionally at smaller meetings. From 1974 to 2012, the Academy published a newsletter; the first book review appeared in 1984, and reviews began to appear regularly from the late 1990s.  In the early 1990s, Lynn Nelson led AARHMS into the digital age by creating the first AARHMS site at the University of Kansas and subsequently a discussion list: AARHMS-L.  AAHRMS's virtual home later moved to the University of Central Arkansas, and then to the University of California at Santa Cruz, before its current experiment with the private sector.

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