The Society was organized in May 1982, mostly at the instigation of graduate students from UCSB. Permission was gained from George Haskins of the University of Pennsylvania Law School to name the society in honor of his father, Charles Homer Haskins (1870-1937), a great force in the development of medieval studies in America, whose Renaissance of the Twelfth Century reshaped our conception of high medieval civilization and whose Norman Institutions contributed fundamentally to our understanding of medieval Normandy.
While the contributions of Charles Homer Haskins make him an undeniable shaper of the Society's interests and research, the other “Founding Father” was the late Dr. C. Warren Hollister. Professor Hollister played a key role both in the Society's foundation but doubtless more critically, in the formation of so many members' professional development as medievalists. That influence is by this point virtually immeasurable as his scholarly legacy reaches its 3rd and 4th-generations.
An even fuller history of the Society's origins, plus the conception of its Annual Conference, the beginnings of the Journal, and highlights of the first two decades await your reading pleasure here.