About the CMH

CMH Who we are

Since Roman times London has been one of the leading European cities. its history and development as a great centre of population, trade, finance, society and political power are recorded in a rich store of documentary, graphic and material remains.

London is a laboratory of unique importance for the study of urban affairs. It offers the opportunity of setting our knowledge and experience of metropolitan life today in the context of two thousand years of continuous development.

Established in 1988, in collaboration with the Museum of London and other organisations, the Centre promotes the study and wide appreciation of London's character and development from its beginnings to the present day, and is concerned to set the history of London in the wider context provided by knowledge of other metropolises.

Role of the Centre

  • Provide a forum for the interchange of ideas on metropolitan history through seminars, conferences and other meetings;
  • Undertake original research into the society, economy, culture and fabric of London, with regard to its role both within the British isles and in the world at large;
  • Provide a practical service for those interested in the history of London by bibliographical work, by organising raw data so that they are more readily usable, and by collecting and publishing news of research in progress;
  • Promote research into the history of other metropolitan centres by inviting scholars from other parts of the world to take part in its activities and by undertaking projects which compare London with other centres

The Centre for Metropolitan History is part of the Institute of Historical Research, which is itself part of the School of Advanced Study, University of London

What we offer

The Centre

  • is heavily involved in the IHR's MA and MRes in Historical Research programme, with the Victoria County History;
  • offers supervision for MPhil/PhD study in urban and regional history, including the history of London, c.600 to the present;
  • undertakes original research into the history of London and other cities;
  • publishes lists, guides, conference proceedings and monographs, annual reports and newsletters;
  • organises events including a Metropolitan History seminar programme, lectures, conferences and workshops 
  • provides a collection of key resources for urban history

How the CMH is run

The CMH is a research centre of the Institute of Historical Research which is part of the School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London. The CMH is guided by a written constitution and an advisory committee.

CMH Committee membership 2014-15

  • Dr Alan Borg CBE FSA (Chair)
  • Mr Peter Barber OBE (formerly Head of Map Collections, British Library)
  • Mr David Bowsher (Director of Research and Education, Museum of London Archaeology)
  • Professor David Green (Department of Geography, King's College London)
  • Mr Peter Guillery (Senior Historian, Survey of London, University College London)
  • Professor Simon Gunn (Director of the Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester)
  • Professor Vanessa Harding (Professor of London History, Department of History, Classics & Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London)
  • Dr Alastair Owens (Reader in Geography, Queen Mary University of London)
  • Dr Sara Pennell (formerly Senior Lecturer, Early Modern British History, University of Roehampton)
  • Dr Cathy Ross (Honorary Research Fellow, Museum of London)

The Centre's Director, Professor Matthew Davies, reports to the Director of the Institute of Historical Research

CMH fellows

CMH fellows are scholars who are informally attached to the Centre and are working on subjects related to previous CMH projects. Current fellows and their contact details are listed here.

CMH Annual Reports

Annual Reports on the Centre for the years 1988-2007 are available as pdf files here. Printed copies (except for 1988-9, 1989-90, 1992-3 and 1993-4) are available free of charge from the Centre.