Centre for Metropolitan History

The Centre for Metropolitan History (CMH), established by the Institute in 1988, is one of the world’s leading centres for the study of the history of London and other metropolises. It specialises in innovative research projects, covering a wide range of periods, themes and problems in metropolitan history, publishing the results and data online and in print. The Centre runs a seminar, and organises workshops and conferences on many different topics in metropolitan and urban history. Staff at the Centre supervise more than a dozen PhD students and are involved in the Institute’s MA programme.

CMH News

Call for Papers: AHRC International Research Network 'The Global City, Past and Present' - Workshop 3 'Peoples' (CMH, IHR, 26-27 May 2016)

The network invites proposals from scholars of all humanities and social sciences for its workshop on the topic of 'Peoples' in cities - colonial, imperial, or other - of the early modern or modern and contemporary period. Possible areas of investigation include demography, inequality, politics, governance, trade, religions, gender, language, migration, prosopographies and family studies, race, mortality, health and disease. Cross -historical comparative papers that range from the past to the present are also welcome.

Applicants should email a 500-750 word proposal and a one-page CV to Emma Hart by 15 October, 2015. For full details see: http://globalcities.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/workshop-3/call-for-papers

 

London and the First World War Conference podcasts

Podcasts of nineteen of the papers given at the CMH/IWM conference on London and the First World War 20-21 March 2015 are now available at: www.history.ac.uk/podcasts/london-and-first-world-war. They include the keynote lectures by Adrian Gregory (Pembroke College, Oxford), 'London: a wartime metropolis in comparative perspective', and Jerry White (Birkbeck, University of London), 'London in the First World War: questions of legacy', along with papers from session on 'daily life and institutions', 'enemy aliens', 'transport', 'the empire view', 'dissent', 'air war' and 'leisure'.

People, Property and Charity: The Clothworkers’ Company 1500-1688 (http://www.clothworkersproperty.org/)

Arising from a CMH project, funded by The Clothworkers’ Company, with research carried out by Dr Annaleigh Margey, this website was officially launched on 10 October. It provides the first detailed history of the benefactors, property acquisitions and other bequests of The Clothworkers’ Company in the City of London during the late medieval and early modern periods. Focusing specifically on the properties that came to the company through the bequests of several benefactors, it traces the company’s management of these properties and associated charities. The site provides biographies of the most significant property benefactors, as well as listings of benefactors who bequeathed silver, plate, and monies for charity and entertainment purposes, and histories of the properties granted to the Company.

Records of London's Livery Companies Online (ROLLCO) Project

The ROLLCO database has see three recent updates, which have included freedom and apprenticeship records from the Bowyers', Founders, Girdlers', Musicians', Salters', and Tallow Chandlers' Companies, and brings the total number of individuals contained in the database to over 350,000. The database can be searched at londonroll.org. The new records include a number of notable people. To read more about them and the updates, see the the ROLLCO blogs here.

Medieval Merchants and Money conference podcasts

Seventeen papers from our highly successful conference held last November in celebration of the work of Professor Jim Bolton (QMUL) are now online as free podcasts. We are very grateful to the speakers who have given permission to make their papers available.

Locating London's Past wins BSECS prize

We are delighted that Locating London's Past has won the 2014 British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) Prize for Digital Resources. This prestigious prize, sponsored by Adam Matthew Digital, is awarded annually to the best resource supporting eighteenth-century studies.  Locating London's Past was funded by a grant from the JISC e-content programme 2011, and is a partnership between the CMH, the University of Hertfordshire and the University of Sheffield. Visit the website at: http://www.locatinglondon.org

CMH Publications

A number of our publications can still be purchased online from the University of London's bookstore. Bestsellers include: The Religious Houses of London and Middlesex; Guilds, Society & Economy in London 1450-1800 and London in the 1690s: A Social Atlas. Also available are IHR Conference Series volumes: London and Beyond: Essays in Honour of Derek Keene and A History of the French in London: Liberty, Equality, Opportunity

Mobilising London's Housing Histories Conference Podcasts

Papers from the 'Mobilising London's Housing Histories: The Provision of Homes since 1850' conference, held on 27-28 June, are now available as podcasts on History SPOT

Life in the Suburbs Project

Datasets compiled by the ESRC-funded 'Life in the Suburbs: health, domesticity and status in early modern London' project are now available from the UK Data Archive: Study No 7244: Life in the Suburbs: Health, Domesticity and Status in Early Modern London, 1523-1720

Going Underground Conference Podcasts

The majority of papers given at the recent 'Going Underground: Travel Beneath the Metropolis 1863-2013' conference, marking the 150th Anniversary of the London Underground, are now available as podcasts on History SPOT

Book: London and Beyond: Essays in Honour of Derek Keene (ed. Matthew Davies and James A. Galloway)

The third title in the IHR's new conference series, London and Beyond arose from the CMH's 20th Anniversary conference in 2008, at which Derek Keene was guest of honour. Derek was the founding director of the CMH, from 2001 Leverhulme Professor of Comparative Metropolitan History (also based at the Centre) and, before his retirement in 2008, acting director of the IHR. The papers in this festschrift are written by internationally renowned and long-standing colleagues, postgraduate students, or researchers who began their careers under Derek’s guidance.  Chapters range from the effect of flooding around the Thames in the middle ages to railways in early 20th-century Paris and London. Buy

Book: Cities into Battlefields (ed. Stefan Goebel and Derek Keene)

Arising from the Centre's 2004 'Metropolitan catastrophes' conference on cities' role in warfare, Ashgate have just published Cities into Battlefields: Metropolitan Scenarios, Experiences and Commemorations of Total War.  The volume explores the cultural imprint of military conflict on metropolises world wide in the era of the First and Second World Wars and examines how the emergence of 'total' warfare blurred the boundaries between home and front. With contributions from Susan Grayzel, Peter Stansky, Patrice Higonnet, Eyal Ginio, Maureen Healey, Tim Cole, Antony Beevor, Lisa Yoneyama, Julie Higashi and Jay Winter, it is currently available at the reduced price of £58.50 (normally £65) from the Ashgate website.

Online mapping resource: Locating London's Past

The Locating London's Past website is now available at: www.locatinglondon.org. The website enables users to map information from a vast array of sources, including trial accounts from the Old Bailey, hearth tax, plague deaths and population data and even archaeological records, on to John Rocque’s 1746 map of London, now fully referenced to modern geographical coordinates. This new resource is the result of a collaborative project, funded by JISC, involving the CMH, the Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire, and Museum of London Archaeology (see CMH project page for details).

'The Last of the Jobbers'

‘Big Bang’ in 1986 signalled the end of the historic jobbing system of the London Stock Exchange. Jobbers were market-makers who acted as intermediaries between stockbrokers on the floor of the exchange.  Few written records are left of their activities. In 1990 the CMH undertook a series of interviews - predominantly with former jobbers but augmented by those from the point of view of brokers and financial journalists - which now form a rare resource for the history of this distinctive part of the financial life of the City.

The tapes and transcripts of the 42 interviews were originally deposited at the British Library Sound Archive (ref no. C463) for permanent archiving but they are now also available online via the University of London School of Advanced Study’s e-repository, SAS-Space.  To access the collection visit http://www.history.ac.uk/projects/jobbing.

CMH working papers volume: Tides and Floods

The five papers in Tides and floods: new research on London and the tidal Thames from the middle ages to the twentieth century (ed. James A. Galloway; CMH Working papers series no. 4) arise from a conference held in October 2009, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the London and the tidal Thames 1250-1550 research project. Written by archaeologists, historians and historical geographers, they present up-to-date work on the flood threat from the later middle ages to the 20th century, focusing upon the changing political, institutional and economic response to this environmental challenge. Also included is a preliminary report on the medieval tidal mills recently uncovered at Greenwich and Northfleet and an overview of the multi-faceted work of the Thames Discovery Programme. 80pp (illus); price £5 + £2 postage. Order a copy from the IHR Bookshop.

Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs

Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs screenshot

Want to investigate markets and fairs? Take a look at our Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 - the first systematic national survey of the establishment and operation of markets and fairs from c.900. It contains entries for 2,400 places and lists details for more than 2,600 markets and nearly 3,000 fairs.

Register of Research in Progress

The Centre's register of research in progress on the history of London has just been updated with information on theses completed in 2009, along with some thirty new topics currently being studied.  We would like the register to be as comprehensive as possible, so if you are actively researching an aspect of London history and you wish to be added to the list, please email the Centre providing details of your research and indicating whether you are willing for your email address to be included in the entry.

 

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London and Urban news and events

Archives for London Seminar: Cinematic geographies - Creating a film history for Battersea

Thursday 2 July 2015, 6 pm-7.30 pm | Huntley Room, London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB

Aileen Reid, Survey of London historian will share the latest news from the Cinematic Geographies of Battersea. The project investigates how the area has been portrayed in films over the 20th century, and delivers new ways for people to engage with archives and local history. Join us to explore how fictional film footage can be a fascinating documentary source. 

Advance booking is essential. Please book your place through Eventbrite or by contacting Jeff Gerhardt on 020 7332 3879. The seminar is free to AfL members, non-members £6. Refreshments provided.

Conference: London and the Nation

Friday, 10 July 2015 | Room MAL B36 Birkbeck, University of London

The Raphael Samuel History Centre and London Studies Network are delighted to announce ‘London and the Nation’, a conference exploring the many dimensions of London’s complex and ever-evolving relationship to the rest of the United Kingdom. The cultural, demographic, socioeconomic, geographical, and political connections between the metropolis and the nation have appalled, excited, perplexed, and fascinated commentators for centuries and have played a decisive role in shaping British history. This conference seeks to illuminate the nature of these connections and the organizers are particularly interested in continuities and ruptures in the way that the relationship between London and the nation has been perceived and portrayed over time. 

Professor Jerry White (Birkbeck) will provide the introduction and there will be panel sessions on 'Cultural tensions between London and the Nation in the 18th and 19th centuries'; 'London's challenged institutions in a national context'; 'Postwar economic change in London and the Nation'; and 'Literary and visual representations of London and the Nation'. Sally Alexander (Goldsmiths), David Feldman (Birkbeck) and David Glover (Southampton) will provide concluding remarks. For the full programme, see birkbeckhistoryphd.org/2015/06/09/conference-london-and-the-nation/. The conference is free but advance booking is essential - register via eventbrite.

Panel Discussions: London and the Nation

Saturday 11 July 2015 | The British Library

Partnering the London and the Nation conference (10 July) is this day of panel discussions on the relationship between London and the rest of the UK with speakers including Owen Jones, Zoe Williams, Danny Dorling, Tony Travers, Joe Anderson and Irna Qureshi. To register, see www.bl.uk/events/london-and-the-nation.

Free Exhibition: Museum of London - Zeppelin Offensive

Until 20 September 2015 | Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN

Among the Museum of London's current exhibitions is 'Zeppelin Offensive', marking the 100th anniversary of the first Zeppelin raids on London during the First World War. The exhibition reflects on London's first experience of aerial bombardment and its impact on its streets and people. More information. For information on the museum's talks, tours, and exhibitions, see the Events Calendar.

The Historical Association lectures and events October 2014-June 2015

The Central London Branch of the Historical Assocation has organised a varied programme of lectures, walks and other events. The final event in this programme will be a walk on 21 June exploring 'London City Sculptures'. See Programme. Some events require advance booking - Booking Form.

New Publication: London's Sailortown, 1600-1800: A Social History of Shadwell and Ratcliff, an early-modern London riverside suburb

by Derek Morris and Ken Cozens

Published December 2014 by The East London History Society; ISBN 978-0-9564779-2-7

The first book to describe this unique area of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century London. Features the rich and the poor, the churches and chapels, the East India Company, Hudson's Bay Company, brewers, coopers, mariners, sailmakers, ship builders, ship chandlers. It also includes extensive indexes to names, places and subjects. Available at £12.60 (plus p&p UK £3.50; Europe £8.35; USA £13.15; Australia £13.90) per copy from Philip Mernick, East London History Society, 42 Campbell Road, London E3 4DT (e: mail@eastlondonhistory.org.uk; www.eastlondonhistory.org.uk).

Historic Hospital Admissions Records Project (HHARP)

This project provides online access to nearly 120,000 individual admission records between 1852 and 1914 for three London children's hospitals: Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Evelina Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease, as well as the recently added Royal Glasgow Children's Hospital. Website