In November 2006 a group of historians met in Washington DC and formed HistorySOTL: the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in History. This paper explores the antecedents to this event by first briefly defining and outlining the recent educational phenomena known as the ‘scholarship of teaching and learning’ (SOTL). With its discipline-based focus, SOTL encourages historians to do more to think about, share and improve their practice. The emergence of disciplined-based ‘communities of practice’ amongst British and American historians and the current Australian state of play is then discussed before the paper examines the origins, formation and planned activities of HistorySOTL. The internationalisation of discipline-specific ‘communities of practice’ is an idea whose time has come and historians are at the forefront of such developments. This article has been peer-reviewed.