Beyond Peterloo: The Founding of the Manchester Guardian

It is well-known that the events of the Peterloo Massacre, which occurred two hundred years ago today, on 16 August 1819, inspired the founding of the Manchester Guardian. These roots are today still recognised by the Guardian (which the Manchester Guardian would later become). However, a closer look at the original prospectus reveals that despite being founded in the wake Peterloo, the events of 16th August 1819 and the cause of parliamentary reform were not the only motives behind the newspaper’s establishment. In this post, Kathy Davies, a PhD student in History at Sheffield Hallam University, looks more closely at the Manchester Guardian’s long-standing concern with foreign politics. Continue reading “Beyond Peterloo: The Founding of the Manchester Guardian”

Beyond This Day – 8 August 1940: Popular History and the Power Sisters

The historian Eileen Power died on 8 August 1940. In this blog post, Dr Laura Carter examines the historical legacy of Rhoda Power, Eileen’s younger sister (pictured above). In the decades following Eileen’s death, Rhoda continued to shape popular social history in Britain in quite distinctive ways that have been overshadowed by Eileen’s immortalisation as the emblematic twentieth-century woman historian. Continue reading “Beyond This Day – 8 August 1940: Popular History and the Power Sisters”

Insta-Research: Social Media and the Historian

As a scholar working in a rural UK university, far from peers in her field of study, Kate Strasdin decided to embrace Instagram and Twitter as a means of professional engagement, and to explore the potential for virtual communication when travel to conferences and urban-centric events was rarely possible. In this post for Historical Transactions she explains that social media has been a rewarding and enlightening professional experience. Continue reading “Insta-Research: Social Media and the Historian”

A Seven-Year-Old Monster

The Many-Headed Monster is one of the longest-running and most successful of academic historical blogs. It was founded, and is still run, by Dr Mark Hailwood (Bristol), Dr Laura Sangha (Exeter), Dr Brodie Waddell (Birkbeck), and Dr Jonathan Willis (Birmingham), four early-modern historians who met while studying for postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick in the mid-2000s. To mark the Monster’s seventh birthday, we asked the team to reflect on their motivation, the editorial challenges and, most importantly, the secret of the blog’s continued success… Continue reading “A Seven-Year-Old Monster”

Reflections on “Contested Commemorations”, RHS Symposium at the Open University.

On 17 May 2019 the Open University History department hosted a Royal Historical Society symposium to reflect on the centenary of the First World War. Following four years of commemorative activity, our aim with “Contested Commemorations” was to assess how a range of countries and regions had marked the centenary. Vincent Trott reports on a day of  fascinating presentations and lively discussion. Continue reading “Reflections on “Contested Commemorations”, RHS Symposium at the Open University.”

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?”

In All Our Footsteps: Tracking Walking Histories in Post-War Britain

May is National Walking Month. In this piece, Clare Hickman and Glen O’ Hara reflect on their new collaborative project which has emerged from personal as well as academic interests in walking, and has led them to reflect on the intersections of environmental, political and health histories. Continue reading “In All Our Footsteps: Tracking Walking Histories in Post-War Britain”