On History

News, articles & research from the
Institute of Historical Research

Latest posts

The battle for land ‘in the national interest’ during Britain’s Second World War

The battle for land ‘in the national interest’ during Britain’s Second World War

In this – the penultimate contribution to our ‘Environment and History’ series – Gary Willis considers the much-contested ‘national interest’ and its role in wartime land-management. Taking us to the British countryside before, during, and after, World War Two, the post considers how interest groups lobbied, and policy decisions were made, about the rural environment, and alerts us to the political potency of the ‘national interest’ as a concept in times of national emergency — such as the current pandemic.

Spotlight

Features & Articles

Thinking beyond the “vanishing coasts”

Thinking beyond the “vanishing coasts”

By:Coastal Connections- IHR Partnership Seminar: Young Rae Choi[1], Michael O´Rourke[2], Katie Ritson[3], Hsinya Huang[4] and Joana Gaspar de Freitas[5] Coasts are highly dynamic environments. Their constant mutability is what defines them best. However, they seem to...

The battle for land ‘in the national interest’ during Britain’s Second World War

The battle for land ‘in the national interest’ during Britain’s Second World War

In this – the penultimate contribution to our ‘Environment and History’ series – Gary Willis considers the much-contested ‘national interest’ and its role in wartime land-management. Taking us to the British countryside before, during, and after, World War Two, the post considers how interest groups lobbied, and policy decisions were made, about the rural environment, and alerts us to the political potency of the ‘national interest’ as a concept in times of national emergency — such as the current pandemic.

Colonialism’s climatic legacies

Colonialism’s climatic legacies

In the tenth article in our ‘Environment and History’ series, Dr Harriet Mercer discusses how histories of knowledge production help us understand whose voices are more privileged in the discussion of climate change, and why. Drawing on research on late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Australia, Harriet highlights the value of indigenous knowledge. Here she urges us to appreciate the value of that knowledge, not only for histories of the environment or climate, but for solving our current environmental crises.

Publications News

The battle for land ‘in the national interest’ during Britain’s Second World War

The battle for land ‘in the national interest’ during Britain’s Second World War

In this – the penultimate contribution to our ‘Environment and History’ series – Gary Willis considers the much-contested ‘national interest’ and its role in wartime land-management. Taking us to the British countryside before, during, and after, World War Two, the post considers how interest groups lobbied, and policy decisions were made, about the rural environment, and alerts us to the political potency of the ‘national interest’ as a concept in times of national emergency — such as the current pandemic.

Colonialism’s climatic legacies

Colonialism’s climatic legacies

In the tenth article in our ‘Environment and History’ series, Dr Harriet Mercer discusses how histories of knowledge production help us understand whose voices are more privileged in the discussion of climate change, and why. Drawing on research on late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Australia, Harriet highlights the value of indigenous knowledge. Here she urges us to appreciate the value of that knowledge, not only for histories of the environment or climate, but for solving our current environmental crises.

Deltas after rice: agrarian pasts, environmental futures

Deltas after rice: agrarian pasts, environmental futures

The ninth contribution to our ‘Environment & History’ series is by Dr Aditya Ramesh of Manchester University. The article takes us back to waterways, this time in southern India. Reflecting on the historiographical positioning of the Cauvery delta, and new digital projects to map how it has changed over the long-term, Aditya Ramesh points us to the importance of understanding the wider socio-political landscapes created by the actual landscape.

Research & Resources News

A Farm in February – reading the agricultural past in a picture

A Farm in February – reading the agricultural past in a picture

This blog draws on that research and examines the English farming landscape in the years after the Second World War as drawn by Ronald Lampitt, an artist best known for his work in the Ladybird series of children’s books. This precise landscape may never have existed – it could be Kent, but the distant mountains might stand for the Malvern hills – but the story told is a national one.

Bibliography of British and Irish History: February 2021 update adds records of 4670 new publications

Bibliography of British and Irish History: February 2021 update adds records of 4670 new publications

The ‘Bibliography of British and Irish History’ (BBIH) is a record of over 627,000 books, articles and essays relating to the British and Irish past, worldwide. The Bibliography is updated three times each year with curated records of the recent publications. The February 2021 update is now out, adding detailed records for 4670 new titles, the great majority of which are for recent works published between 2019 and 2021.

PhD –> BHO –> BL –> PhD: linking British History Online’s thesis data to the British Library

PhD –> BHO –> BL –> PhD: linking British History Online’s thesis data to the British Library

In summer 2020 we began a project to add records of 30,000 UK PhD theses to British History Online. In this post (the third in a series on this subject), Jonathan Blaney explains a recently completed matching and linking exercise to connect post-1970 theses to their corresponding listings in the British Library’s EThOS catalogue, allowing users to click through from BHO record to BL to an online version of the complete thesis.

Letting the people speak: 2526 early modern petitions on British History Online

Letting the people speak: 2526 early modern petitions on British History Online

The IHR’s ‘British History Online’ has recently completed a project to digitise and publish over 2500 petitions from early modern England. Working with ‘The Power of Petitioning’ project, BHO is now building a web interface, allowing this rich dataset to be explored in new ways – for research and teaching.