Letters Home: the Correspondence of Allen Leeper, 1908-1912

Letters Home: the Correspondence of Allen Leeper, 1908-1912

In this post David Hayton introduces his new volume in the Royal Historical Society’s Camden Series, ‘Allen Leeper’s Letters Home, 1908–1912. An Irish-Australian at Edwardian Oxford’. Allen Leeper, Oxford undergraduate and future Foreign Office mandarin, wrote regularly to his family in Australia from 1908 until he left university in 1912. His letters record his experiences at Balliol College, Oxford, among a ‘golden generation’ decimated by the First World War, and on his extensive travels in Europe. They provide a vivid picture of a continent on the eve of profound change, written by someone whose background afforded a degree of objectivity.

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Gen AI, History and Historians

Gen AI, History and Historians

In this post Dr Adam Budd introduces our upcoming panel discussion on ‘AI, History and Historians’, taking place on Wednesday 17 July.

He discusses the opportunities this event provides for historians and students of history to learn about the meaning of ‘artificial intelligence’ in our academic community.

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Designed for Play: Children’s playgrounds and the politics of urban space

Designed for Play: Children’s playgrounds and the politics of urban space

To coincide with the release of his new book — ‘Designed for Play. Children’s Playgrounds and the Politics of Urban Space, 1840–2010’ — Jon Winder considers the complex and revealing history of the children’s playground and the wider social, political and environmental concerns such spaces were intended to address. Jon’s book, published on 11 July, is the 18th title in the Society’s ‘New Historical Perspectives’ series for early career historians, published by University of London Press. As with all books in the series, ‘Designed for Play’ is available in print and as a free open access download.

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Introducing the Modern Endangered Archives Program (MEAP)

Introducing the Modern Endangered Archives Program (MEAP)

Vincent Hiribarren introduces the Modern Endangered Archives Program (MEAP), which seeks to preserve and digitise archives in regions that lack the necessary resources to do so. Vincent discusses the opportunities this program provides for historians and students of history, as well as for local populations looking to preserve their heritage. He also addresses some of the potential challenges. Vincent invites historians to consider the benefits and challenges of this project, but to primarily take part as way to support their own teaching and research.

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10 Tips for Getting Your Monograph Published

10 Tips for Getting Your Monograph Published

On Friday 14 June 2024 the Royal Historical Society hosted a training workshop for Post-Graduate and Early Career Historians: ‘Getting Published: A Guide to Monograph Publishing’. The event brought together editors and academics to demystify the process of publishing a monograph, with specific attention on how to move from a completed PhD to book proposal to a published monograph. We recently released the event video which contains numerous tips and insights. Here we pull out a ‘Top 10’ from the panel and discussion: 10 key things for historians to bear in mind when thinking about publishing their monographs.

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A Balanced Argument? Communicating the Power of Argument to History Undergraduates

A Balanced Argument? Communicating the Power of Argument to History Undergraduates

In March 2024, the Royal Historical Society visited historians at the Universities of York and York St John. The Visit included a panel discussion on the subject of communicating History to different audiences. In this post, Dr Elizabeth Goodwin (York St John) develops the themes of her presentation at the Visit. Elizabeth’s subject is how historians as teachers best communicate the potential of their discipline; and how learning to build, articulate and communicate an argument — in which the student is central — is a core purpose of the undergraduate experience. As Elizabeth contends, the need for such skills is pressing. Many students urgently seek the skills to build their confidence, while — more than ever — History as a discipline requires informed and eloquent advocates.

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Generative AI, History and Historians, a reading guide

Generative AI, History and Historians, a reading guide

There are few bigger, and more pressing, topics today than the current and future impact of Generative AI. Nowhere is this more evident than in Higher Education. The opportunities and challenges of GenAI are relevant to all those engaged in teaching and research. But each discipline also has distinctive questions and concerns relating to the latest iterations of AI. What, therefore, are the possible implications for the teaching, study, research and communication of history? In this post, we introduce a forthcoming Royal Historical Society event on ‘AI, History and Historians’, and launch a guide to recent commentaries on GenAI, the humanities and history.

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Hit songs in seventeenth-century England

Hit songs in seventeenth-century England

What makes for a hit song? In this post Christopher Marsh introduces the ‘100 Ballads’ project, a study of the most successful broadside ballads of seventeenth-century England. ‘100 Ballads’ was released online earlier this year. It brings together historians and players of early modern music to research and perform the most popular songs of the time. As well as a history of popular music, performance and publishing, 100 Ballads offers insight into the concerns of everyday life. The songs bring us stories of romance, comedy and tragedy, of value to historians of early modern politics society and culture. Though varied in their subject matter, successful broadside ballads were an amalgam of lyrics, melody and images that made for a hit.

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REF2029 AND OPEN ACCESS: A GUIDE TO THE CURRENT PROPOSALS FOR PUBLICATIONS

REF2029 AND OPEN ACCESS: A GUIDE TO THE CURRENT PROPOSALS FOR PUBLICATIONS

Earlier this month, REF2029 announced a consultation relating to its Open Access Policy. The policy sets out the open access requirements for eligible publications. The 2029 policy extends the scope to include ‘longform publications’ in the form of monographs, edited collections, book chapters and scholarly editions. The inclusion of longform publications in REF2029 is a major development, of particular importance for humanities disciplines including history. This post provides a summary of the key points of the REF2029 open access policy and initial concerns and questions which the Society will be developing in its response. 

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Who reads history blogs?

Who reads history blogs?

Digital communications are central to how we communicate, debate, teach and assess understanding of the past. In this post, David Geiringer goes back to one of the earliest, and most resilient, of these formats—the blog—to consider its development, use and relevance for historians. Originally championed for taking the communication of historical research beyond mainstream publishing and the academy, blogs are now integral to higher education assessment and practice. With blogs mainstream, it’s time to consider how much of their original, disruptive capacity—in terms of content, format and readership—still holds; and reflect on the future of the communication format you’re about to read.

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Teaching Soviet History from the Borderlands: A Case Study of Belarus and Ukraine

Teaching Soviet History from the Borderlands: A Case Study of Belarus and Ukraine

How can we ‘decolonise the curriculum’ when it comes to the history of the Soviet Union? How do we decentralise our historical approach to former-Soviet states? In this post Natalya Chernyshova discusses the importance of these questions for modern historians of this region. Natalya highlights missing links in research on former-Soviet states, and the ways in which this topic may be taught in future, with reference to Belarus and Ukraine. Particularly, she identifies the need to translate primary sources and create dedicated modules on this topic – two projects on which she has recently been working.

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History and memory in the 21st century

History and memory in the 21st century

In this post we hear from Lucy Noakes, Rab Butler Professor of Modern History at the University of Essex and—from January 2024—President-Elect of the Royal Historical Society. A specialist in the history of modern Britain, Lucy researches the experience and memory of those who have lived through conflict. How history is remembered and retold is central to identity and to how—as individuals, communities and nations—we respond to societal change or topics of public debate. Here, Lucy considers her longstanding interest in the relationship between past and present, and the role of the Society in promoting and communicating this relationship. Lucy will take on the Presidency of the Royal Historical Society from November 2024.

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