|Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Procession
Buckingham Palace, 1897
Sixty years of The Queen’s reign will be celebrated in her Diamond Jubilee this year. It’s a massive event that will be subject to exhaustive coverage, and it provides historians with a fascinating opportunity to observe ‘in action’ the many different understandings of the nature and role of the monarchy and of its recent history.
It’s only the second time a British Monarch has ever celebrated a Diamond Jubilee, and it’s also the first time that there has been an online representation of such an event. So, in recognition of this, the British Library are setting up a special collection of archived websites in the UK Web Archive. We at the IHR are delighted to be working with the BL and lots of other organisations and institutions to try and make the collection as comprehensive as possible, including the Royal Household and the Mass Observation project.
There is an appeal to organisations holding Jubilee events to nominate their sites for inclusion, and this is where historians of contemporary Britain can help. Are there forms of celebration or protest being planned that are likely to be of particular significance to historians of the future using the archive, whether because those activities are strikingly new, or a revival of older practice, or likely to be the last of their kind ? Who are the most influential bloggers and commentators on the event, both celebratory and critical ? Is this year’s event giving rise to new online resources about previous jubilees – those of 2002, 1977 or indeed earlier ? All these online resources should be captured and preserved for future historians by colleagues now, and so do please get involved and nominate those sites for inclusion.