Senior Lecturer in Public History, Leeds Beckett University

Henry Irving is a specialist in mid-twentieth century British history. His research interests centre on the Second World War, with a particular focus on the public’s response to emergency legislation and official propaganda. He is currently writing a book on the history of wartime recycling that draws together these two themes.

He is also an Associate Fellow on the AHRC-funded project ‘The Publishing and Communication History of the Ministry of Information 1939-45’ at the Institute of English Studies. This project has involved detailed research into the methods used to disseminate official messages, press censorship, and the use of opinion polling to measure the effect of campaigns. Preliminary results are available on the website

Alongside his research, Henry has a long-standing interest in public history. He defines this term widely and has worked alongside a variety of non-academic partners: from archives and museums to social enterprises.

He joined the Social History Society while undertaking his PhD in the early 2010s. He was elected Communications Officer in 2018 and is editor of our Community Exchange blog.

Key Publications