Does your organisation do history? Do you want to get involved in a landmark programme of events to celebrate the discipline and practice of history, and shape its future? The Our Century Open Call is a great opportunity to host an event as part of the prestigious IHR Centenary programme, bringing together varied and imaginative activities across the UK.

For 100 years, the Institute of Historical Research has been thinking back and looking forward. Now, in our centenary year, join us for ‘Our Century’ – a 12-month exploration, celebration and reappraisal of history’s past, present and future.

This Events Open Call is open to any UK organisation with a connection to history research and practice, including universities, museums, archives, galleries, publishers, subject associations, societies, libraries, local community groups and more. We are especially keen to encourage partnership / collaborative events, those which involve wider publics as well as specialists and professionals, and activities which foreground diversity and inclusion. We’re looking for creative, imaginative ideas which will help celebrate what you do, as well as the wider field of history, its past, present and future.

The aims of the Our Century IHR Centenary programme are to:

  • Celebrate the discipline and practice of history, in all its forms and wherever it is found, and its contribution to public life in the UK and beyond
  • Reflect on the past century and practices of history over the past hundred years, and open a conversation about the future of history over the coming century
  • Think critically about untold, marginalised and invisible histories over the past century
  • Promote more inclusive, diverse and engaged histories and historical practice
  • Involve diverse participants and communities in making history and making history’s future

Resources and support available include:

  • Support from the IHR with promotion and marketing
  • All events will be listed in the Our Century webpages and promotional materials
  • Advice on planning, organisation and engagement
  • Inclusion in the high-profile national and international Our Century programme and campaign

Grants of up to £500 per event are also available, competitively, from a maximum fund of £5000. We do not envisage that all events will require funding; if you wish to seek financial support, please tell us in the application form.

What are the criteria for Our Century Open Call applications?
Proposed events must engage with one or more of the aims of the Our Century IHR Centenary programme, as listed above. They should also be:

  • Organised locally, with the host institution responsible for areas such as venue, catering and ticketing (as appropriate)
  • Completely free to attend
  • Held within the Our Century programme dates (July 9 2021 – 31 May 2022)
  • Inclusive, diverse, engaged and accessible
  • Creative and imaginative, making use of varied formats where possible

We will also ask organisers to complete a short evaluation after the event, and to write a short post for the IHR Blog. Organisers may also have the option to showcase their event in a short film celebrating the IHR Our Century programme.

What formats are suitable?
We invite organisers to consider a range of formats, including imaginative, creative and playful approaches. The aim is for Our Century events to reach wide audiences, bringing together diverse publics with researchers and history professionals. Some good formats might include:

  • Workshops, hands-on activities and interactive sessions
  • Film screenings, performances, exhibitions with discussion
  • Online events and workshops
  • A special iteration of a recurring event (e.g. research seminars, museum lates, research cafés)
  • ‘Manifesto-making’ sessions, history and activism workshops

Whatever the format, events should engage with one or more of the aims of the Our Century programme, as outlined above. We hope to support events taking place across the UK, and encourage applications from organisations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The deadline for applications is Friday 26 March, 2021. Further information, including the application form, is available here.