The Royal Academy of History began as a literary meeting club of friends, in the year 1735. The members approached King Philip V to ask him to authorise the meetings and the monarch granted his protection. With this, the discussion group, which had begun to focus on historical research, became the Royal Academy of History.
The authorisation was given by Philip V via the Royal Decree of 17 June 1738. From then on, the Academy enjoyed royal protection as did the other similar corporations, all of which were created in the same way, culminating in the 18th century with the founding of the three oldest: the Royal Spanish Academy, the Royal Academy of History and the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts. The academy possesses a splendid library-archive with codexes, manuscripts and incunabula (books printed before 1501) of inestimable scientific, bibliographic and documentary value. It is open to the public in the morning and afternoon and is used by both Spanish and foreign researchers.