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IHR Bulletin June 2020

Welcome to the IHR Bulletin for June 2020. Here we provide news from the Institute, plus updates on current and forthcoming IHR projects and events.

IHR supports the Runnymede Trust in calling for curriculum reform

This month the Institute gave its support to a new campaign led by the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading independent race equality think tank. British history is a global story shaped by migration, race and empire. This should be taught at all learning stages. Runnymede’s campaign outlines seven actions to change the history curriculum.

How to take action

As part of the campaign, IHR Library staff are creating and hosting an online guide to free resources for teaching Black British history. We also welcome your recommendations for teaching materials which may be submitted here. The online guide will be launched in early July and updated as new suggestions for teaching resources come in.

IHR director, Professor Jo Fox, was also among signatories of a letter in The Times (13 June) calling for curriculum reform. 
As part of its mission to support and facilitate history research and practice across the UK and beyond, the IHR has announced a new programme of online Partnership Seminars, to launch in January 2021.
The seminars will connect historians or all kinds, nationally and internationally, each with convenors from three separate institutions. We now welcome applications—from historians working collaboratively at universities, museums, galleries and other organisations—for the first three online Partnership Seminars.
Find out more

Centre for the History of People, Place and Community

Congratulations to Layers of London for their win at this year’s Birkbeck Public Engagement Awards. Initiated in 2017 by Birkbeck, University of London, the awards celebrate researchers undertaking exemplary public engagement activities. The team’s imaginative outreach work also continues with its successful weekly webinars.
This month the Centre ran its first special online events: an Online Engagement Masterclass with Layers of London, and a ‘Virtual VCH’ Victoria County History mini-conference. ‘Virtual VCH’ brought together an audience of nearly 100 people, with work-in-progress talks from three counties, as well as mini-lectures from Matt Shaw, IHR Wohl Librarian, on support for research during lockdown, and—especially timely and important—from David Killingray on ‘Diversifying Local History’.
David gave us valuable insights into how looking at familiar sources in fresh ways can help us to recover stories of Black British history, dating back hundreds of years. You can watch recordings of both events on the new CHPPC ‘Events Archive’ page. Plans are developing for a series of online VCH / local history training sessions from the autumn, as well as further special events.
Explore the Centre

Digital and Publishing

June sees publication of a new issue of the IHR’s academic journal Historical Research, and the latest update of the Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH).
New articles in the journal range from Anglo-Norman arbitration and Tudor spy networks to the professionalisation of the UK charity sector post-1945. For this issue the free ‘editor’s choice’ article is Milan Pajic’s ‘The fortunes of urban fullers in fourteenth-century England’.
The June update of the Bibliography of British and Irish History adds records of 4288 new publications (monographs, articles, essays and edited collections). The majority of these records are very recent publications from 2019 and 2020, about which more is available here
From June, British History Online now includes records of 30,000 History PhDs awarded by UK and Irish universities between 1901 and 2014. We’ve prepared a quick guide to using this new listing: from simple searching to the creation of academic family trees.
We also invite you to complete the new British History Online Survey, 2020. Your responses will help us improve and develop the resource for future researchers.
On the blog, IHR author Dr Christopher Phillips compares the experience of experts currently working with government to those engaged in the military campaigns of 1914-18. Christopher’s new book, Civilian Specialists at War. Britain’s Transport Experts and the First World War, is the latest title in the New Historical Perspectives series, published for the IHR and Royal Historical Society by University of London Press.
Civilian Specialists at War is the third book published in the series which launched in December 2019. In the first six months these books—all available Open Access—have been downloaded 7500 times in 68 countries.
Read more about the series

IHR resources and online events

In addition to our new resource for Black British history, the IHR continues to extend its Guide to Free Access Online Research. The guide, launched in April, provides listings of online resources and primary sources aimed principally at History MA and PhD students unable to access archives. Recommendations for additional resources are always welcome via our online suggestion box.
Other free research resources include the 1300 volumes of primary and secondary content on British History Online and 250 book chapters published by the IHR and available Open Access via the University of London Press.
Forthcoming online IHR events include training webinars, writing sessions, research seminars and an ECR workshop on getting your first book published. Further events will be added through July and announced on Twitter.
‘National Myths in Times of Crisis: On Friday 3 July, Jo Fox will take part in a panel discussion organised by the Social History Society. This is the closing session in a programme of eleven online events hosted by the Society between 22 June-3 July. Booking for the remaining sessions.
Visit IHR Events

Keep in touch

Keeping in touch is now more important than ever.

News and updates are available via the IHR’s Twitter account which this month recorded its 40,000th follower: thank you! 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.

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