Ram Chandra Shukla (4 October 1884 – 1941), better known as Acharya Shukla, is regarded as the first codifier of the history of Hindi literature in a scientific system by using wide, empirical research  with scant resources and published ‘Hindi Sahitya Ka Itihaas’(1928–29).
This monumental work traces the genesis of Hindi poetry and prose since the 6th century and its development through Buddhist and Nath schools and medieval contributions of Amir Khusro, Kabirdas, Ravidas, Tulsidas, stretching to modern realism of Nirala and Premchand.
In his assessment of Shukla (Acharya Ramchandra Shukla aur Hindi Alochana) eminent critic Dr. Ram Vilas Sharma emphasises the fact that the great writer opposed feudal and courtly literature as it did not give a true picture of the life of the common people and contemporary society.
His works of literary criticism include 'Kavita Kya Hai', the most widely read essay explaining poetry and poetics in his outstanding collection 'Chintamani', published initially in two volumes as a collection of essays on emotions like anger and hatred. Recently his scattered and unpublished essays have been found out and published as ‘Chintamani-3’ edited by Namwar Singh and ‘Chintamani-4’ by Kusum Chaturvedi.
To enrich the worldview of Hindi speakers, Acharya Shukla translated Edwin Arnold ’s The Light of Asia into ‘Buddha Charit’ (A biography of Gautam Buddha in Brij Bhasha verse) and German scholar Ernst Haeckel ’s famous work "The Riddles of Universe" into ‘Vishwa Prapanch’ where he added his own thought provoking preface by comparing its findings with Indian philosophical systems.
These works signify that he did not restrict himself to be the foremost moderniser of the Hindi language, literature and thought but also involved with scientific temper building by translating and updating works of science and history. In developing a scientific methodology to investigate the literary works of several centuries as creations of socio-economic and political conditions of the respective era Acharya Shukla became a pathbreaker.
In his view true literature is not merely an expression of human consciousness as an end in itself but accounts for Lokmangal, a concept defining progress of society where common people are supreme and their sufferings are best understood as purpose for amelioration: literature, through aesthetics must address itself to the pains/woes of the downtrodden and underdog and work for human emancipation from exploitation of all kinds.
Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla was born on 4 October 1884 to Chandrabali Shukla in a small village – Agona, Basti, Uttar Pradesh during British rule over India. He started his journey in the world of letters with a poem and an article 'Prachin Bharatiyoin Ka Pahirava' in Hindi and also by writing in English his first published essay at the age of 17 – 'What Has India to do'. Keeping in the spirit of anti-imperialism, a few years after, in the year 1921, he wrote ‘Non-co-operation and Non-mercantile Classes of India’ which was an attempt to look at the struggle of Indian classes in the set up of colonial and semi-feudal economy.
Acharya Shukla taught at Banaras Hindu University Varanasi and chaired its department of Hindi during Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya's period from 1937 until he died(1941). Although not a regular story writer, he also wrote a long Hindi story 'Gyarah Varsh Ka Samay' to inspire original writing. His collection of original poems 'Madhushrota' includes his adolescent hunger for hills, rocks, water falls, crops and birds and images of his childhood sphere. His famous work Sahitya ka Itihaas was later edited online by a group of eminent Hindi writers and translators, led by Sri Suresh Kumar Mishra "Uratrupt", Hindi Writer and methodologist from Ranga Reddy, Andhra Pradesh. "Hindi Sahitya ka Itihaas" is considered as authentic Hindi literature. Ram Chandra Shukla was married to Savitri Devi and had two sons Keshav Chandra and Gokul Chandra and three daughters Durgavati, Vidhya and Kamla. He was a painter and designed his own house, which was incomplete when he died in 1941.
Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla Sahitya Shodh Sansthan, a research institute, established in 1972 in his name is a centre of literary activities. It was built on the wish of his son Gokul Chandra Shukla. Later it got financial help from Govt. of Uttar pradesh. It is housed in a double storey building and its present secretary (Mantri) is Professor Dr. Manjeet Chaturvedi , the greatgrandson of Acharya Shukla. The Naya Mandand journal of Hindi criticism was periodically published by this institute under the editorship of Kusum Chaturvedi who was also secretary of the Shukla Sansthan till she breathed last. Later on Gyan Datta Chaturvedi took over as the secretary till he passed away on 9 January 2013. Doordarshan the official TV station of the Government of India commissioned and showed a documentary on the eve of his birth centenary in 1984 produced by Kusum Chaturvedi and Mukta. Mukta is now the Chairperson (Adhyaksha) of the Shukla Sansthan.
Major works on Ram Chandra Shukla 
- Alochak Ram Chandra Shukla by Ganga Prasad Pandey
- Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla aur Hindi Alochana by Dr. Ram Vilas Sharma
- Lokjagran Aur Acharya Shukla by Dr. Ram Vilas Sharma
- Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla by Professor Joseph Mundasshweri
- Bharatiya Sahitya Samiksha aur Acharya Shukla
Publications of Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla Sahitya Shodh Sansthan 
- Nirala Aur Nazrul Ka Rashtriya Chintan
- Nirvachit Prabandh Sankalan
- Sadi Ke Ant Mein Hindi
- Naya Mandand
- Ramchandra Shukla at Gadya Kosh (Online Encyclopedia of Hindi Literature)
- Complete Hindi Sahitya Ka Itihaas at Gadya Kosh (Online Encyclopedia of Hindi Literature)
- Role in Evolution of Hindi
- Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla aur Acharya Hazari Prasad Dwivedi ki Itihaas Drishtiyon ka Tulnatmak Adhyayan
- Language in India
- Issues of the journal of the Acharya Ramchandra Shukla Research Institute
- Sri Ramakrishna Math : The Vedanta Kesari, May 2006
- Indian Authors-Embassy of India to the Lao PDR
- Biography of the Acharya Pandit Ramchandra Shukla