SHS response to threatened closure of Black Cultural Archives

You may have heard news of the funding threat facing the Black Cultural Archives: https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/arts/black-cultural-archives-funding-letter-a3978136.html   We would like to join with other organisations in showing our support for the Black Cultural Archives as an integral asset in our national teaching and research infrastructures and as the only national heritage centre devoted to preserving the histories … Continued

Congratulations Professor Otele

History, as an academic discipline, has a problem with its lack of diversity. This is a real issue for a field of scholarly activity where seeking to understand the world as it appears from very different perspectives underpins much of what we do.

As Meleisa Ono-George noted in the plenary session of our recent conference (which you can watch here), amongst the 6.1% BME academic staff in UK university History departments there are only 15 black historians. Until this month, there was no black and female History Professor in the country.

That changed when Dr Olivette Otele was promoted from Reader to Professor at Bath Spa University…

Historic England Medical Collection

The Historic England Archive has recently completed a 12 month project to conserve, digitise, and catalogue 4,071 photographic prints in the Topical Press Agency Medical Collection. The collection of prints show nursing, healthcare, social care and medicine in Britain between 1938 and 1943. Most were very well annotated, providing a remarkable insight into medical treatments … Continued

Alun Howkins (1947-2018)

We were sad to hear recently of the death of Professor Alun Howkins.

Alun left school at 15 for a host of manual and other jobs before returning to education in his early 20s via Ruskin College. After further studies at Oxford and completing a PhD at Essex University, he embarked on a career in which he made a real contribution to the field of social history.

We share some memories from those who knew him.

Historians mark NHS at 70

It can’t have escaped your attention that the National Health Service celebrated its 70th anniversary this week. The NHS came into being on 5 July 1948. It promised universal healthcare, free at the point of use. The story of the NHS is closely bound to the contemporary British history. So it is no surprise that … Continued

National Disability Arts Collection and Archive

A new digital archive chronicling the history of disability arts in the UK has launched to the public. The National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA) is the first archive in the world to offer a major retrospective of disabled people’s art and activism. Built by Shape Arts with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts … Continued

Historian and former SHS committee member John Archer dies

Members of the Social History Society will be saddened by the news that our friend and colleague, Dr John Archer, died suddenly on 24 February, aged sixty-six.

A long-standing member of the Society, John was a former member of the Executive Committee (2001–4).

In this post, Dr Andrew Davies shares his thoughts on John’s important contribution to the history of crime and rural protest.

New book explores the history of Africans in British art

Members of the Social History Society will be interested to hear news of a new book by Dr Temi Odumosu, published by the Harvey Miller imprint of Brepols Publishers, on Africans in English Caricature 1769–1819. Black Jokes, White Humour. Between 1769 and 1819 London experienced an unprecedented growth in the proliferation of texts and images … Continued

History UK survey on new guidance on HE collaboration with archives

History UK, the independent national body promoting and monitoring History in UK Higher Education, is working in partnership with The National Archives to revise and update the 2015 ‘Guide to collaboration between archive and Higher Education sectors‘. The updated guidance will inform partnership working between archives and higher education institutions, both in terms of research … Continued