Cataloguing the RHS Archive: George Prothero’s Papers

As part of the Society’s 150th anniversary celebrations, the RHS has embarked on a project to revamp its archive and update its accompanying catalogue, in order to improve the accessibility of the collections and to increase awareness of Society’s past. The project is funded by the Marc Fitch Fund, a charity which supports projects aimed at preserving and showcasing important pieces of historical scholarship across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. With this generous award, the Society has been able to hire two post-graduate researchers, Eilish Gregory and Imogen Evans, to help complete the project. In this post for Historical Transactions, Eilish and Imogen introduce the project, and reveal some of their early finds in the papers of George Prothero, the Society’s first President. Continue reading “Cataloguing the RHS Archive: George Prothero’s Papers”

Cultures of secrecy and transparent archives?

In April 2019, during  a panel discussion at Australia’s Parliament House, Anne Twomey, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Sydney, declared that the National Archives of Australia (NAA) have become ‘completely dysfunctional’. This was due to failures in procedures for sensitivity reviewing government files in order to provide access. Twomey argued that this was symptomatic of a ‘culture of secrecy’ which was ‘a serious problem when it comes to transparency in government’. In this post, Richard Dunley argues that this developing culture of secrecy is, paradoxically, a direct product of drives for transparency.  Continue reading “Cultures of secrecy and transparent archives?”