Siam Society Milestones

1904 The Siam Society was founded in 1904 in cooperation with Thai and foreign scholars. The Society soon established a reputation as a learned society whose members included many of the most illustrious historians and archaeologists of that period.

Crown Prince Vajiravudh (later King Rama VI, reigned 1910-1925), who encouraged and supported the Society, was its First Patron. HRH Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, one of Thailand's leading scholars and then President of the National Library, was Vice Patron. Chao Phraya Bhaskarawongse (Phorn Bunnag), in recognition of his distinguished scholarship in the field of literature and his willingness to place his extensive library at the disposal of Society members, was made an Honorary Member.

Learned societies throughout the world extended their support right from the beginning. These included the Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, the Batavian Association of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Asiatic Society and the Societa Asiatica Italiana. It was in fact the publications of these Societies that formed the basis of the Siam Society's library.

From its inception, the Siam Society's objective was to encourage research and information gathering on art, history, culture and natural sciences of Thailand and neighboring countries.

1922Having been in existence for 18 years, the Society was able to move into its own semi-permanent home at the first floor of the Falck & Beidek Building for the first time.

1924 "Knowledge gives rise to friendship" was adopted as the Siam Society's motto to convey the message that the search for knowledge links people of all nations in friendship.


c1931 Auditorium nears completion

1932The first building, the lecture hall and stage, located on the current property on Soi Asoke was opened and the Society was able to provide more complete library services to its members. The land was given to the Siam Society by Mr. A.E. Nana.


HM King Bhumibol, HM Queen Ingrid of Denmark, HM King Frederik IX of Denmark,

HM Queen Sirikit, and HM Queen Rambai Barni grace the opening of the new library building.

1962The Society's separate library and office building was opened. HM King Bhumibol, HM Queen Ingrid of Denmark, HM King Frederik IX of Denmark, HM Queen Sirikit and HM Queen Rambai Barni graciously participated in the library's dedication. Read a newspaper report of the opening>>>

1963The Society was presented by the Nimmanhaeminda family of Chiang Mai with the Kamthieng House, an outstanding example of old northern Thai architecture. The house, rebuilt in the Society's grounds, serves as an ethnological museum and is open to the public.

1988On its 84th anniversary, the Society received a donation from Khun Lada Ratkasikorn to reassemble in its compound a teak Thai house, in commemoration of her late husband, Acharn Saengaroon Ratkasikorn, after whom the house was named. This house is an excellent example of central Thai architecture. The Saengaroon House was graciously opened by HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajnagarindra, Honorary President of the Society, on February 26, 1988.

The Society, over the years, has embarked on important academic programs in cooperation with local and international public and private organizations. This has involved hosting international conferences on "Culture and Environment in Thailand" in 1987 and 1992, and "The Future of Asia's Past" in 1995, co-sponsored with The Asia Society and The Getty Conservation Institute.


HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana

attend lecture at the Siam Society

1997The Society in association with the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, undertook a research program on the domestic and foreign affairs implications of HM King Rama V's first visit to Europe on the occasion of the centenary of this important event.

The Chalerm Phra Kiat Building, constructed in honor of the 50th anniversary of His Majesty the King's accession to the throne, was completed, housing the library, the exhibition space, meeting rooms and facilities, as well as offices for Society staff. The building was graciously opened on behalf of His Majesty the King by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn on 30 September 1998.

2002The Association of Siamese Architects Under Royal Patronage gave a special award to the Siam Society for its excellence in the preservation of buildings, namely the auditorium, the Kamthieng and Saengaroon Houses in the compound of the Society.


Procedure for the Reception for Their Majesties The King and Queen of Spain and
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to the Launching Ceremony of the First Thai Edition of
EL INGENIOSO HIDALGO DON QUIJOTE DE LA MANCHA at The Siam Society on 22 February 2006

At present, The Society has close to 1,800 members, including both Thais and foreigners. The Society remains committed to pursuing its long-standing objectives of research and promotion of the arts and sciences of Thailand and neighboring countries.