With this post we begin a new five-part blog series — ‘Historical Research in the Digital Age’ — which explores historians’ use and understanding of the digital resources that shape modern research culture. The series is hosted by Professor Ian Milligan whose new book, ‘The Transformation of Historical Research in the Digital Age’, is now available as a free Open Access download from Cambridge University Press. In Part One, Ian introduces the series and considers the profusion of resources which have led many of us to become what he terms ‘digitised’ historians — even while our understanding and appreciation of digital technologies remains partial.
‘Black at Sussex’ is a five-year project which reflects on the history of the Black experience at Sussex University since its foundation in 1961. The project, which launched this autumn, sees Sussex academics and alumni working in partnership with two photographers – Charlie Phillips and Eddie Otchere. In this latest post to the Society’s ‘Writing Race’ series, Valerie Kporye introduces ‘Black at Sussex’ and a selection of the portraits taken so far.
In his new book, ‘The Diary of George Lloyd (1642-1718)’, Daniel Patterson provides a detailed insight into the ‘ordinary’ of early modern life. Daniel’s new Camden Series volume reclaims the life of George Lloyd, a Hampshire-born customs official active during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. A meticulous record of everyday existence, Lloyd’s diary is little known among historians. What it provides, in this first published edition, is a window on the daily preoccupations of a middling man: from religious worship and social connections to food, dress and selfhood.
November 2022 marks the 150th anniversary of the first volume of ‘Transactions of the Royal Historical Society’, our academic journal. A century and a half on, the latest ‘Transactions’ — published in this month — also sees significant changes to the content, scope and design of the journal. In this post, the RHS President, Emma Griffin, considers the journal’s origins and some of its major developments since the 1870s. In addition, Emma outlines the changes to Transactions from 2022: with a new editorial team, new design and a broader range of article types — as well as an invitation to all historians t
The Glasgow Sugar Aristocracy: Quantifying Caribbean Slavery’s Historic Connections and Modern Legacies in Scotland
In his new book, ‘The Glasgow Sugar Aristocracy: Scotland and Caribbean Slavery, 1775-1838’, Stephen Mullen provides the first comprehensive study of Scotland’s West India merchant elites and the economic legacy of Caribbean slavery on Scottish, and wider British, society. Stephen’s monograph, published on 10 November 2022, is the latest title in the Society’s ‘New Historical Perspectives’ book series, and is now available in paperback print and as a free Open Access download.
On 1 November, broadcaster and journalist Kavita Puri gave the 2022 RHS Public History lecture, in association with Gresham College. Kavita’s lecture — ‘The Partition of British India: 75 Years On’ — explores the impact of dividing British India by recovering and sharing the life stories of British Asians today. Kavita’s lecture is now available to watch via the Gresham College website.
In July 2022, Rosalind Crone was awarded this year’s Royal Historical Society’s Innovation in Teaching Prize for ‘Exploring the History of Prisoner Education’, an open online course for the Open University which launches this month. The 8-session course surveys prison history and the place of education in that history, as well as providing educational content for those in secure environments. Here, Rosalind introduces her course and its engagement with the challenges, and opportunities, of higher education in secure environments.
Twenty years after first using the political papers of Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, seventh Marquess of Londonderry, Professor Neil Fleming has recently published his scholarly edition of Londonderry’s political papers — ‘Aristocracy, Democracy and Dictatorship’ — as the latest volume in the Society’s Camden Series. The seventh Marquess of Londonderry (1878–1949) corresponded with the leading political figures of his day, including Winston Churchill (his second cousin) and Neville Chamberlain. Londonderry’s controversial amateur diplomacy meant that his regular correspondents also included Hermann Göring and Joachim von Ribbentrop.
To coincide with publication of his new monograph – ‘The Poets Laureate of the Long Eighteenth Century, 1668-1813. Courting the Public’ – Dr Leo Shipp charts the rise and role of the laureateship from John Dryden to the appointment of Robert Southey. The laureateship was positioned at the interface of court and public, and evolved in line with changing concepts of court culture. Studying the laureateship reveals the court’s enduring prominence and adaptability as a site of cultural activity in late Stuart and Hanoverian Britain. Leo’s book is the 14th title in the Society’s ‘New Historical Perspectives’ series for early career historians.
Dr Louise Falcini and Dr Peter Collinge introduce their new essay collection ‘Providing for the Poor: The Old Poor Law, 1750-1834’, the research for which is supported by the AHRC-funded project ‘Small Bills and Petty Finance: co-creating the Old Poor Law’. Peter and Louise’s edited collection, published in late August 2022, is the 13th title in the Society’s New Historical Perspectives book series for early career historians.
In this latest post from the RHS ‘Writing Race’ series, Helen Mavin, Head of Photographs for the Imperial War Museums, discusses the challenges of creating national museum, gallery, and archive collections. In her role as Co-Investigator for the recent AHRC-funded ‘Provisional Semantics’ project, Helen analysed and reinterpreted captions for colonial Indian photographs from the Second World War. In doing so, the project sought to deconstruct racially divisive barriers created by these captions, while maintaining historical accuracy.
In this latest post for the ‘Writing Race’ series, Sarisha Kumar, Head of Talent at Poet in the City, describes recent projects that engage with the legacies Britain’s colonial past. Sarisha works with culture and heritage organisations across the UK to reveal the hidden stories of museum objects, as well as the lived experiences of British people, whose cultural identities have been shaped by colonialism.