A Brief History of the Society

The Halifax Antiquarian Society was founded by Samuel Henry Hamer, a Halifax engineer, and other enthusiasts from the local community who all shared an interest in the history of Halifax and its ancient parish. John Lister of Shibden Hall, a distinguished local antiquarian, was invited to become first president of the society which held its inaugural meeting at the Halifax Mechanics' Institute in January 1901. There Lister expressed his hope that research undertaken by members would enable a new history of the town to be written and urged the preservation of relevant source material. The society's annual transactions first appeared later that year and have continued through to the present. The archive material collected in the early years by members now constitutes one of the core collections held by the West Yorkshire archive service in Calderdale central library, Halifax. A new History of Halifax, written by Dr J. A. Hargreaves (transactions editor) was published in 1999, shortly before the society celebrated the centenary of its foundation.