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Events


The Deana & Jack Eisenberg Lecture in Public History 2017

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The Second Founding:  How the Civil War and Reconstruction Changed the American Constitution

Speaker: Professor Eric Foner (Columbia University)

The preservation of the American nation and the destruction of slavery, the two most profound consequences of the Civil War, raised questions about the definition of American citizenship, the rights of the former slaves, and relations between the states and federal government. Three constitutional amendments were adopted during the Reconstruction period following the war which fundamentally changed the rights of citizens and the powers of the federal government. This lecture will consider the legal, political, and social consequences of amending the Constitution in the 1860s.

The lecture is free and open to all but advance registration is required

Date: 19 June 2017
Location: Beveridge Hall, Senate House
Lecture: 6.00-7.30pm
Reception: 7.30-8.30pm

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What is Microhistory Now?

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2 June 2017, Wolfson Conference Suie, IHR

Microhistory rose to prominence more than three decades ago after the publication of Carlo Ginzburg’s Cheese and the Worms (1976) and Natalie Davis’s Return of Martin Guerre (1983).  It highlighted the agency as well as experiences of common people and challenged major narratives of historical change. By the 1990s its success in teaching history sparked anxiety that students might know more about Martin Guerre than about Martin Luther. This workshop brings together leaders in the field to chart current microhistorical practices. It explores how such approaches can inform a new global history, the history of emotions and intellectual history, the writing and teaching of history as much as creative collaborations with artists.

Speakers include:

  • Prof Maxine Berg (University of Warwick)
  • Prof Benjamin Kaplan (UCL)
  • Prof Tom Robisheaux (Duke University)
  • Prof Emma Rothschild (Harvard University)
  • Prof Ulinka Rublack (University of Cambridge)
  • Prof Francesca Trivellato (Yale University)

For a provisional programme, please click here

Fees apply

  • Full rate: £35
  • Concession rate: £25 (Student/retired/IHR Friend)
Fees include refreshments and lunch

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The book in the Low Countries: New perspectives, hidden collections

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21-22 June 2017, Wolfson Conference Suite, IHR

Great Britain and the Low Countries share a large part of their histories. There are countless stories of political and economic rivalries and wars, stories of religious and political exile in both directions, but also of cultural exchange and influence. Also the book business of the early modern era was characterised by an influx of printers, materials and books from the Low Countries to England. Rare books and manuscripts were eagerly collected by English bibliophiles and most of these collections are nowadays found in libraries all over the country.

This two-day symposium has a double goal. In a combination of papers and collection visits, it wants to bring these often overlooked collections to the surface, and it also offers an overview of the latest research on Low Countries books.

Speakers include: 

  • Arthur der Weduwen (University of St. Andrews)
  • Erik Geleijns (Museum Meermanno)
  • Jaap Geraerts(University College London)
  • Goran Proot (University of Udine)
  • Reinier Salverda (UCL and Fryske Akademy)
  • Marja Smolenaars(Koninklijke Bibliotheek)
  • Patrick Storme (Universiteit Antwerpen)
  • Steven Van Impe (Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience)
  • Catherine Wright (University of Oxford)
  • Heleen Wyffels (KU Leuven)

Delegates will also visit the following locations as part of the conference:

  • Lambeth Palace Library
  • British Library
  • Dutch Church
  • Senate House Library

For the preliminary conference programme, please click here

Fees apply ( includes all refreshments and lunches on both days)

  • Full fee: £60
  • Concession Rate: (Student/retired/ IHR Friend)​: £40
Conference organised by:  Stijn van Rossem (Institute of Historical Research)
With support from the Government of Flanders and Scaliger Institute

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Thomas Frederick Tout: Refashioning History in the 20th Century

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9-10 June 2017, IHR, Wolfson Conference Suite

Thomas Frederick Tout was a remarkable medieval historian who forged the distinctive and distinguished history school at Manchester University in the early years of the twentieth century. His own research made extensive use of the national archives (as opposed to the customary use of chronicle sources) and his major contributions were in the field of administrative history. He was, himself, a tireless administrator of many historical enterprises (including the Dictionary of National Biography) and his historical output was extraordinary. He spent the last four years of his life in London and is buried in Hampstead Parish churchyard. The time is ripe to reconsider his historical legacy.

 

Speakers include:

  • Ralph A. Griffiths (Swansea University)
  • William Gibson (Oxford Brookes University)
  • Stuart Jones (University of Manchester)
  • Peter Slee (Leeds Becket University)
  • Christopher Godden (University of Manchester)
  • Henry Summerson (ODNB)
  • Ian d’Alton (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Seymour Phillips (University College, Dublin)
  • Paul Dryburgh (The National Archives)
  • Matthew Raven (University of Hull)
  • Jeff Hamilton (Baylor University)
  • Vance Smith (Princeton University)
  • DeLloyd  Guth (University of Manitoba)
  • John McEwan (St. Louis University)
  • Elizabeth Biggs (University of York)
  • Nick Barratt (University of Nottingham)
  • Mark Ormrod (University of York),
  • Joel Rosenthal (Stony Brook University)
  • Tom Sharp (CBE, grandson of T.F.Tout)

 

For the preliminary conference programme, please click here

Fees apply ( includes all refreshments and lunches on both days)

  • 2-day Full fee: £60
  • 2-day Student/unwaged/retired/ IHR Friend​: £40
  • 1-day Full fee: £35
  • 1-day Student/unwaged/retired/ IHR Friend: £25
 Conference organised by:
Professor Caroline Barron (RHUL) & Professor Joel Rosenthal (Stony Brook University)

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Eric Hobsbawm Memorial Lecture 2017

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Russia’s Revolution and the Destruction of the Past

Speaker: Catherine Merridale

Annual lecture in memory of Professor Eric Hobsbawm. Catherine Merridale is the author of numerous award-winning books on Russian history. Her latest work, Lenin on the Train (Penguin Books), tells the story of Lenin’s famous journey to Russia in April 1917.

Attendance at this lecture is free, but advanced registration is required

Date: 22 May 2017
Location:
The Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House
Lecture
: 18:00-19:30
Followed by a reception

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Future Past: researching archives in the digital age

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Thursday 18 May 2017, Wolfson Conference Suite, IHR

The IHR and British Records Association (BRA) invite you to attend this one day conference on Thursday 18 May 2017.

This conference aims to promote the understanding and collaboration between archivists and researchers; explore challenges posed by digital access to collections, and improve methodologies (e.g. education/training for researchers in what information is available from online catalogues, how archivists can improve catalogue descriptions so researchers can find relevant records more easily and how you can understand the context of records showing up in searches).

Speakers include:

  • Nick Barrett (Univ of Nottingham)
  • Geoff Browell (Kings College London)
  • Maria Castrillo (Senate House Library)
  • Kathleen Chater
  • Sophie Clapp (Boots)
  • Clare Cowling (IALS)
  • Jo Pugh (TNA & University of York)
  • Tom Scott ( Wellcome Collection)
  • Tamara Thornhill (TFL)
  • Jane Winters (SAS)

For a workshop provisional programme, please click here.

Fees apply

  • Full rate: £35
  • Concession rate: £25 (Student/retired/IHR Friend/BRA member)

Fees include refreshments and lunch

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Inaugural George Weidenfeld Lecture in Jewish History 2017

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Towards a History of Jewish Emancipation Politics

16 March 2017, Beveridge Hall, Senate House
18:00-20:30

Speaker: Professor David Sorkin (Yale University)

In this lecture, David Sorkin, Professor of Jewish History at Yale University, will examine the involvement of Jewish communal and religious leaders in the processes of Jewish emancipation in Europe from the early modern period onwards. In questioning whether historians have developed effective explanations and categories to explain Jewish political participation he will propose a new analysis of Jewish politics from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

Attendance at this lecture is free, but advanced registration is required

Lecture: 18:00
Reception: 19:30

Book online now


 

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The Gerald Aylmer Seminar 2017

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The Gerald Aylmer Seminar 2017
Strongroom to Seminar: archives and teaching in higher education

24 February 2017, Wolfson Conference Suite, IHR
09:00-17:00

The Gerald Aylmer Seminar 2017 will consider the role of archives in higher education teaching. It will focus on the critical questions which surround how academics and archivists can build on a strong tradition of collaboration to engage in creative and innovative pedagogical practice. Just as teaching methods have evolved within higher education, so have the expectations of the modern student. In a digital world, the experience of how a new generation of researchers interact with archival resources has changed dramatically. What then is the role of document based teaching in this shifting landscape? How can technology be used to enhance the learning experience? What other insights does teaching with archival material in higher education bring?

Following the keynote by Professor Jo Fox, the seminar will offer three themed sessions in which speakers will address issues from multiple archival and scholarly perspectives. Session one ‘creator as teacher’ focuses on an established collaboration between archivists and academics based on the works of John Ruskin, who left his extensive collection with the specific aim of it being used as a resource for educating future generations. Other speakers will reflect on their innovative teaching practices involving archival material, including the use of digital collections and data sets, and the ways archivists can take an increasingly active role in shaping students’ engagement with archival collections.

A provisional programme is available to view online here

The seminar is free and open to all, but advanced registration is required. Register online now

All lunch and refreshments will be provided.

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London’s women historians: a celebration and a conversation

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online-image-events27Dame Lillian Penson & R.W. Greave’s Seminar in 1956-7: Dame Lillian is seated at the end of the table

London’s women historians: a celebration and a conversation

On Monday 13 March 2017 in collaboration with King’s College London, the IHR will be celebrating London’s women historians.

At the start of 2017, gender equality remains one of the most pressing issues in the historical profession. This is evident from research published by the Royal Historical Society in 2015, longstanding efforts by the Economic History Society to elevate women in their discipline, and an initiative at the University of Oxford to launch a ‘manifesto’ for Women in the Humanities. This event is an attempt to continue and deepen this conversation, thinking especially about how twentieth-century London institutions have both enabled and constrained female achievements in history. It will also be an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of women doing history in the past, inaugurating a pop-up exhibition of twentieth-century London women historians at the IHR, organised by King’s College London. We will ultimately aim to discuss how to ensure issues of gender equality and the contribution of women to the discipline remain at the fore of history in London via the IHR, as Britain’s ‘national’ centre for history.

Confirmed speakers: Caroline Barron, John Beckett, Laura Carter, Linda Clark, Amy Erickson, Margot Finn, Jo Fox, Laura Gowing, Alana Harris, Peter Mandler, Jinty Nelson, Lyndal Roper & Pat Thane.

This event is free and open to all, but advanced registration is required.
All refreshments will be provided

Register online now

 

1977

Staff and students of the Department of History, King’s College London, 1977
This image was provided by Laura Carter– lecturer in Modern British History at KCL

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John Morrill and the Bibliography of British and Irish History

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The opening lecture of this year’s IHR Winter Conference will be delivered by John Morrill, retired Professor of British and Irish History in the University of Cambridge – the theme of the conference is “Civil Wars” and John’s lecture will consider “The English Revolution as a Civil War”. To mark this event, I was asked to write something about John, and in particular his connection with the Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH), with which I have myself been involved since 1992.

The current online BBIH has its roots in the desire of the Royal Historical Society in the late 1980s to consolidate and update the various printed bibliographies of British and Irish history, amounting at that time to over 40 volumes, which had been produced by the Society and the Institute of Historical Research since the 1930s. The plan that emerged was for a project that would run from 1990 to 1995, and would result in the publication of the complete database (which would be as comprehensive as possible) on CD-ROM, with a series of select bibliographies appearing in print. As John himself observed in the introduction to the published CD-ROM, “No nation or state has hitherto attempted any such guide to historical writing about itself, and no other discipline has attempted such a synthesis of its accumulated scholarship.”[1]

The majority of the printed volumes which were consolidated into the 1998 CD-ROM edition of the bibliography (bottom right). The volumes with white labels are the copies that were scanned to produce the electronic data. View larger version.

In the establishment of all this, John was a driving force, recommending that the project should not seek simply to produce new printed volumes but should embrace electronic technology, finding funding (principally from the Leverhulme Trust), and even obtaining, from a colleague in Cambridge, the advice that resulted in the purchase of the MicroVAX 3100 on which the data was compiled (the machine still exists in the Cambridge Computer Museum.)[2] John became the project’s General Editor, assembling an advisory board whose first meeting, over an exceptionally hot couple of days in Cambridge, was said to have put the project’s entire expenses budget in jeopardy thanks to its copious mineral water consumption. Steps were taken to improve coverage in areas which it was felt had been under-represented in some of the printed bibliographies – Irish history, the history of the empire and Commonwealth, and the history of women.

The editorial process built upon the model established by Geoffrey Elton for the Royal Historical Society’s Annual Bibliography of British and Irish History in the 1970s – draft entries would be sent to a team of academic editors who would check details, add indexing, and suggest any additional items that ought to be included (John had, indeed, been one of the Annual Bibliography‘s academic editors for several years). Modifying this process to handle a large cumulative bibliography over a relatively short period involved, over the life of the project, recruiting and managing some 200 scholars (including several in the USA and Australia), a process that John likened to an academic “corvée”. Recruitment and management of this workforce was largely delegated to “volume editors”, each responsible for the team working on a particular period, but John was perhaps one of the few people who could have co-ordinated this exercise; thanks to his personal and academic generosity and sociability, he possessed much goodwill on which to draw. Despite this, it turned out that the ability of university teachers to contribute to the project had been over-estimated – they found the pressures on their time increasing during the 1990s and, in the UK, the Research Assessment Exercises did not make any allowance for work on long-term collaborative projects, obliging many to concentrate on their own publications.

The CD-ROM edition of the bibliography, published in 1998, with the manual open at a typical page. View larger version.

Other problems emerged. The electronic scanning of the printed texts, carried out by Papworth Industries at an early stage in the development of this technology, proved less accurate than expected – or, at least, levels of error that sounded acceptable when expressed as a percentage of the characters involved were soon seen to be significant (I recall ‘The Martello towers of Romney Marsh’ being mutated into ‘The Martello tourers of Romsey Marsh’). The amount of work which would have to be done by the project’s central editorial team was likely to overwhelm the one and two-thirds staff who had been appointed, even though a considerable amount of “hands-on” editorial work was done by John himself and by the project’s Executive Secretary, Julian Hoppit. As a result, while the “academic corvée” contributed an enormous amount, the life of the central office had to be extended by a year, and much work had to be put into the hands of paid research assistants. This in turn meant raising more money, in which John again played a leading part – ultimately, the project involved eighteen grant applications, of which sixteen were successful. The printed selections, which depended most on the judgement of the academic editors, never appeared, except for the volume on imperial, colonial and Commonwealth history edited by Andrew Porter.[3] On the other hand, it was recognized that, logically, the project had no end, and money was raised to set up a successor project to continue the work of revising the database and updating it with new publications. So, the publication of The Royal Historical Society Bibliography on CD-ROM: the history of Britain, Ireland, and the British overseas by Oxford University Press in 1998, containing around a quarter of a million entries, proved to be, not the end of the process, but the start of a new era; by the time of its publication the successor project was already underway – reflecting the changing landscape of reference publishing, it soon decided to publish future editions online and eventually evolved into BBIH. It had been decided that the successor project would be most appropriately based in the IHR and John’s direct involvement ceased at this point – but not before he had played a large part in designing the successor project and raising seed funding for it; in an interview conducted in 2008 he said that he thought that the bibliography was his “proudest achievement”[4] and I can testify that he continues to take an avuncular interest in it.

I recall the late Kevin Sharpe observing that, after a conference or similar meeting, John would sit in the bar talking all evening “like the rest of us” but, when the bar closed, John did not go straight to bed like his colleagues but would do a few more hours’ work first. Indeed, while serving as General Editor of the bibliography, John still found the time and energy to serve as Vice-Master of his Cambridge college, to lecture in the University, to supervise research students, and to continue to publish on his own research interests – of the 117 items by John currently listed by BBIH, 37 were published in 1990-6, while John was General Editor of the bibliography. Seven of these 37 were collections of essays edited (or co-edited) by John, a further reflection of his skill in bringing historians together in co-operative projects. Indeed, since John’s active involvement with the bibliography ceased at the end of 1996, this skill has been deployed, alongside his scholarly insight into the 17th century, as a Consultant Editor for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (dealing with over 6,000 17th-century lives), as one of three senior scholars who managed the preparation of an online edition of the depositions of witnesses to the massacres in Ireland in 1641, and now as General Editor of a project to produce a new edition of all the recorded words of Oliver Cromwell (covering both his written works and his recorded speeches) which is currently nearing completion.

[1] The Royal Historical Society Bibliography on CD-ROM : the history of Britain, Ireland, and the British overseas (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1998), p.2 of accompanying booklet. Back to text

[2] The Museum’s website says that the machine was donated by me, which is true in the sense that I was the person who delivered it. Whether it was really mine to give is questionable, but it had lingered in my custody for well over a decade after the end of the project, by which time it seemed to deserve preservation. Back to text

[3] Andrew N. Porter, Bibliography of imperial, colonial and Commonwealth history since 1600 (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2002). Back to text

[4] http://www.history.ac.uk/makinghistory/resources/interviews/Morrill_John.html, accessed 13 Jan. 2017. Back to text

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