Real Academia de la Historia

Royal Academy of History
Native name
Spanish: Real Academia de la Historia
Location Madrid, Spain
Coordinates 40°24′48″N 3°41′56″W / 40.413466°N 3.698992°W / 40.413466; -3.698992Coordinates: 40°24′48″N 3°41′56″W / 40.413466°N 3.698992°W / 40.413466; -3.698992
Official name: Real Academia de la Historia
Type Non-movable
Criteria Monument
Designated 1945
Reference no. RI-51-0001170
Location of Royal Academy of History in Spain

Real Academia de la Historia (English: Royal Academy of History) is a Spanish institution based in Madrid that studies history "ancient and modern, political, civil, ecclesiastical, military, scientific, of letters and arts, that is to say, the different branches of life, of civilisation, and of the culture of the Spanish people".

The Academy was established in 1738. Since 1836 it has occupied an 18th-century building designed by the neoclassical architect Juan de Villanueva.


As formerly the main Spanish institution for antiquaries, the Academy retains significant libraries and collections of antiquities, which cannot be seen by the public. The keeper of antiquities is the prehistorian Martín Almagro Gorbea.

Items held include:


Some Spanish historians consider it an obsolete misogynist institution, that still considers history as a matter of kings and battles.[1][2]

Biographical dictionary

In 2011 the Academy published the first 20 volumes of a dictionary of national biography, the Diccionario Biográfico Español, to which some five thousand historians contributed. The publicly funded publication has been subject of controversy for failing to achieve the standards of objectivity associated with, for example, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The British Dictionary restricted itself to persons who were deceased, and the historian Henry Kamen has argued that it was a mistake for its Spanish equivalent to include living figures among entries.[3] However, while there was criticism of entries for some living people (such as the politician Esperanza Aguirre), the main allegations of bias concern articles relating to Francoist Spain. A notable example is the entry on Francisco Franco, written by Luis Suárez Fernández, in which Franco is defined as an autocratic head of state rather than a dictator.[1][4] In contrast, the administration of the democratically elected President Negrín is described as dictatorial.[5]

The dictionary sparked an outcry. Most objections came from voices on the left such as the party United Left and the newspaper Público.[5] For his part, Green party senator Joan Saura asked for publication of the dictionary to be stopped and the offending volumes withdrawn.[6] There was also a call for corrections from the Ministry of Education. The Academy announced in June 2011 that amendments would be made to the text on line and in future paper editions.[7] In 2012, when the Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, made a statement on the subject of the dictionary, it was still not clear whether the Academy was willing to describe Franco as a dictator.[8] However, by 2015 with Carmen Iglesias as director, the situation had changed.[9]


The Real Academia de la Historia is composed of 36 members, with Academic Correspondents covering all the provinces of Spain and the rest of the world, taking the actual number to 370 (2006). The members of the Academy are (after the number of chair):

Royal approval of the first statute of the Real Academia de la Historia 17 June 1738
  1. Vicente Pérez Moreda
  2. Hugo O'Donnell y Duque de Estrada
  3. Francisco Rodríguez Adrados
  4. Luis Suárez Fernández
  5. Feliciano Barrios Pintado
  6. José Ángel Sánchez Asiaín
  7. Josefina Gómez Mendoza
  8. José Remesal Rodríguez
  9. María del Pilar León-Castro Alonso
  10. Luis Miguel Enciso Recio
  11. Martín Almagro Gorbea
  12. Carlos Seco Serrano
  13. Vacant
  14. Francisco Javier Puerto Sarmiento
  15. Juan Pablo Fusi Aizpurúa
  16. Antonio Cañizares Llovera
  17. José Alcalá-Zamora y Queipo de Llano
  18. José Antonio Escudero López
  19. Luis Antonio Ribot García
  20. Fernando Díaz Esteban
  21. José Ángel Sesma Muñoz
  22. Enriqueta Vila Vilar
  23. María del Carmen Iglesias Cano
  24. Fernando Marías Franco
  25. Miguel Ángel Ladero Quesada
  26. Serafín Fanjul García
  27. Miguel Ángel Ochoa Brun
  28. Luis Alberto de Cuenca y Prado
  29. José Luis Díez García
  30. Carmen Sanz Ayán
  31. Faustino Menéndez Pidal de Navascués
  32. Carlos Martínez Shaw
  33. María Jesús Viguera Molins
  34. Miguel Artola Gallego
  35. Vacant
  36. Luis Agustín García Moreno

Academic Correspondents

Notable Academic Correspondents of the Academy include:


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