From the Reading Room.

John Tosh (Why History Matters and The Pursuit of History amongst much else besides) has been in this week looking at the A. F. Pollard Papers (MS860). I asked him why the material was of particular interest and how it related to his wider research.

‘I am consulting the papers of A.F. Pollard because, in addition to founding the Institute of Historical Research, he was an early protagonist of Public History, especially during World War I.

The IHR was the first occupier of the site upon which Senate House now stands. It was founded in 1921 and was the first of the Senate Institutes. Its notorious temporary accommodation was named by historians as the ‘Tudor Cottage’.

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Public History is a broad set of ideas – loosely it is history that is not singularly owned by professional historians and it also draws on a multiplicity of sources: oral, material, film, web, video, as well as the more traditional primary sources.  Justin Champion sketches the idea at The Historical Association.’

John Tosh is one of the convenors of the recent and ongoing series of seminars at the IHR concerning Public History and at the time of writing there are three seminars to go.

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