Photographing Fairies

Dr Alice Sage, Goldsmiths, University of London @aliceemmasage This blogpost explains Alice Sage’s winning Pamela Cox Public History Prize project. You can read the announcement and watch an interview between the SHS and Alice here. This exhibition and engagement project was inspired by the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Cottingley Fairy Photographs in … Continued

Teaching with Objects in Lockdown

A 1980s telephone

Dr Henry Irving, Leeds Beckett University @drhenryirving There is a large cardboard box in the corner of my study. It’s been there for the past nine weeks and now feels as permanent a fixture as my lamp or bookcase. During this time, the box has become gradually fuller, providing a home to a seemingly endless … Continued

‘Some choice directions’: Early modern suicide advice literature

Imogen Knox, University of Warwick @Imogen_Knox Society has long been troubled by the prevalence of suicide, with concerns around mental health rising through the COVID-19 pandemic. Late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century England similarly believed itself to be facing the ‘prodigious frequency’ of ‘diabolical transports of despair, and self-murther’. The devil reaped ‘a plentiful (but most … Continued

Teaching History Online in Lockdown

George Gosling, University of Wolverhampton @gcgosling What works at any given time is, of course, historically and contextually contingent. So it proved for teaching online during lockdown last time, and so it will prove again. When university teaching in the UK migrated online in March 2020, most of those teaching at universities were completely unprepared … Continued

Urban Allotments – historical havens during times of national crisis

JC Niala, University of Oxford Jc.niala@stcatz.ox.ac.uk @jcniala The significance of the allotment in urban English history is inconsistent. In general, the allotment space is treated as marginal, yet simultaneously they remain inextricably linked to popular imaginations of significant periods of history, such as the Second World War. This link resurfaced with COVID-19 and is reflected … Continued

Still Seeing Things

Freya Taylor and Louise Bell, Glasgow Women’s Library @FreyaMay3 @LouBell This blog explores the ‘(Still) Seeing Things’ project run by the Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL). We’re lucky to have perspectives from two volunteers: one (Freya) who was involved in the project in its initial format and helped bring it online during lockdown; and another (Louise) … Continued

Making a stand with Mary: Precarious Employment in Pandemic Times

Kate Brooks, Bath Spa University K.Brooks@bathspa.ac.uk We are pleased to share this blog by Kate Brooks, the winner of the 2020 SHS Postgraduate Prize. In 1851, Joseph Lowe was working as a barber in Willenhall, Staffordshire, with four children and a house servant named Jane. Willenhall was an overcrowded, impoverished district, known for locksmithery and … Continued

Children, Covid-19 and Parental Responsibility

Dr Deniz Arzuk, University College London @denizarzuk https://changingchildhoods.com/ On June 1st, after 10 weeks of lockdown, primary schools in England have reopened for children in Years 1, 6, and Reception. Yet, the initial reports suggest that turn-out is low, and parents are still unconvinced and hesitant to send their children back to school. This is … Continued

Death in the archives

Kate Brooks, Bath Spa University We may never know the exact number of deaths caused by this pandemic, not just because of Government obfuscation. Establishing a definitive cause of death is not as straight forward as it may seem, and the current debates about numbers can be read as yet another iteration of an almost … Continued