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IHR Bulletin January 2021

Welcome to the IHR Bulletin for January 2021. Here we provide news from the Institute, plus updates on current and forthcoming IHR activities and events.
It’s currently a time of change for the IHR. We can now confirm that, working with the School of Advanced Study, we are now prioritising the search for a new IHR Director, and that the recruitment process will begin soon. Within the Institute, we’re undergoing staffing changes and a number of vacancies are waiting to be filled. Please bear with us in this time of transition, as we work to continue and develop IHR activities.

IHR Centenary: #OurCentury
2021 marks the centenary of the Institute of Historical Research. For 100 years the Institute of Historical Research has been thinking back and looking forward. In our centenary year, the IHR presents ‘Our Century’ – an exploration, celebration and reappraisal of history’s past, present and future.  

Over 12 months (July 2021-June 2022) we’ll celebrate the discipline and practice of history in its many forms and wherever it’s found:  promoting the value and power of historical thinking; celebrating diverse histories from our previous century; and looking ahead to history’s future in the coming century.  
Discover more about our programme of events and activities – and ways you can get involved.

IHR Library update

The IHR library plans to stay open for those who need to access the collections. Desks need to be booked ahead. Our priority remains the health and safety of our readers and staff and we’ll have distancing, cleaning and book quarantining procedures in place as before. We encourage readers to access services remotely if possible during the lockdown. We are offering a scanning and enquiry service. Arrangements may need to change at short notice so you are advised to check before travelling. Further information available here.
Our online guides to Open and Free Access Materials for Research (launched March 2020) and Teaching British Histories of Race, Migration and Empire (August 2020) are still available and being updated. We also have a new guide to the historiography collections in the library.

In November 2020 we announced the first 10 seminars series for a new initiative: the IHR online Partnership Seminars.

Designed as a space for timely interventions in current and emerging research areas, Partnership Seminars will open up inter-disciplinary and cross-sector dialogues, bring together different approaches and expertise on selected themes, and forge new collaborations and networks across the UK and beyond.

Further information on each of the series is now available via a Partnerships Seminar page on the IHR website. Seminar series including Anthropocene Histories, The Archives of Global History in a Time of International Immobility, Coastal Connections and The Shock of the Record are already underway and open for booking.

Fundraising at the IHR Annual Fund, 2020 

On 3 December we launched the IHR’s 2020 Annual Fund campaign. This year’s fund is slightly different to the last. As we are all still working from home, we’re unable to send or receive post. The 2020 Fund therefore takes place online, with communications sent by email (unfortunately, this situation also means we are unable to process cheques).
Thank you so much to all our generous donors who have already made a gift to IHR’s Annual Fund, which supports a variety of activity from across the IHR. To date we have raised more than £8,800.  If you would like to make a donation and help us reach £10,000, you can do so here. Thank you.

Centre for the History of People, Place and Community

The Centre’s programme of online events for early 2021 is taking shape – please join us! If you’re looking for a focus during this new lockdown, remember that our free online course ‘Applied Public History: Places, People, Stories’ is available on demand, meaning you can start it whenever you like. It’s a great opportunity to develop transferable skills in public history, public engagement, impact and local history – or simply to discover some fascinating histories and inspiring projects.

IHR Publishing

Available from 15 February 2021: Dr Ewan Gibbs’
Coal Country. The Meaning and Memory of Deindustralization in Postwar Scotland.
Ewan’s will be the seventh book in the New Historical Perspectives series, and—as for all titles—will be available free Open Access and in hard and paperback print / ebook.
Further NHP titles from April 2021.
Read our publications online

British History Online (BHO) is a digital collection of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a special focus on the period 1300 to 1800.

 As we enter a new lockdown period (January 2021), we’ve decided to make all transcribed content on BHO freely available to individual users. This move repeats a similar freeing up of 200 volumes of BHO Premium Content in 2020. This material will remain available until 30 April 2021.

We hope this freeing up helps with research and teaching at this time. This blog post (first published for the 2020 offer and now updated) describes what’s included in this latest move.

Events at the IHR

Holding on through Letters: Jewish Families during the Holocaust

Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture 2021 - in collaboration with the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism

Jewish families in Nazi Europe tried to hold onto each other through letters.  But wartime conditions applied. Letters were censored, and could not be sent between countries at war with each other. How to keep in contact? And, once contact was established, what to say—and about what to remain silent? In her presentation, Debórah Dwork will trace how letters became threads stitching loved ones into each other’s constantly changing daily lives.   

Debórah Dwork is the Founding Director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, Graduate Center, The City University of New York.

This event is free to attend, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual event being circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance.
Register here
‘Open for Discussion’ is a new conversation series led by the School of Advanced Study that applies humanities perspectives to critical social issues.

The 2020-21 series investigates: ‘What the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Revealed about Us’. It began on 14 December 2020 with ‘On the Outside Looking In: Do We Need a SAGE for the Humanities?’ Further sessions will run from January 2021.

Also of interest

The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation is inviting participants to a 20 January Foundation Stones workshop to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2021. Participants will need a small stone which fits in the palm of the hand and some decorating materials. Hosted by Big Ideas, the event is also suitable for children aged ten upwards. Registration details here

Keeping in touch with the IHR

Keeping in touch is now more important than ever.

News and updates are available via the IHR’s Twitter account. Our blog, ‘On History’, also includes regular commentaries on Institute activities and essays from guest historians. You can also contact us via social media or via the website.

Copyright © 2020, Institute of Historical Research, All rights reserved. 

Our mailing address is:
Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

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