The Historical Diving Society (HDS) was formed in 1990 in the United Kingdom by a group of enthusiasts whose aim is to preserve and protect diving heritage. The Society has since grown into an international organisation with affiliated national societies across the world. Active societies in North America, Europe and Australia collaborate and work together with the HDS towards the same goals.
The Society encourages the publication of articles of historical diving interest. It publishes and its own printed quarterly magazine/newsletter, the Historical Diving Times and the International Journal of Diving History for its members. These publications are also available for non-members to purchase via the society's website. Selected articles appear online.
The Society holds meetings, visits, and lectures, and has two active Working Equipment Groups, founded by the late Jim Boyd and David Sutton, which seek to preserve and catalogue classic equipment in usable form, often demonstrating at rallies and exhibitions.
Each year the Society holds an annual conference and dinner at which leading pioneers and researchers give presentations and awards are presented.
The HDS maintains a database of historical divers called The Divers Index. Enquiries about diving ancestors or former colleagues who worked in underwater or allied occupations are welcome.
Membership has grown steadily now including individuals and organisations across the entire spectrum of diving interests. Among the Society's members are archivists, archaeologists, authors, artists, bibliophiles, collectors, dealers, engineers, genealogists, manufacturers, museums, oceanologists, photographers, researchers, scientists – and of course divers and ex-divers from around the world.
Being a United Kingdom Charitable organization, the Society relies on memberships and donations to continue its work.
The HDS is setting up the Historical Diving Society Museum (HDS Museum) at No. 2 Battery, Stokes Bay, Hampshire, England.