History seminars at the IHR

Digital History

Convenors: James Baker (Sussex), Adam Crymble (Hertfordshire), Richard Deswarte (UEA),  Beth Hartland (KCL), Matthew Phillpott (SAS), Mia Ridge (Open University), Peter Webster (Independent)

For information and enquiries, please contact: Matt Phillpott on: matt.phillpott@sas.ac.uk

Venue: John S Cohen Room 203, 2nd floor, IHR, North block, Senate House

Time: Tuesdays, 5.15 pm

Seminars are normally streamed live online. See the seminar blog for info. To keep in touch, follow us on Twitter (@IHRDigHist) or at the hashtag #dhist.

Some podcasts from this seminar are available online

Digital History seminar YouTube channel

Spring Term 2016
DateSeminar details
19 January European or Imperial Metropolis? Depictions of London in British Newspapers, 1870-1900

Tessa Hauswedell

Throughout the nineteenth century, London, then the largest city in the world, was at the forefront of massive societal changes brought on by industrialisation and urbanization. In addition, the city took on new relevance as the undisputed political, commercial and political centre of the British empire. Increasingly, the city was identified a metropolis - but what did the term signify and how did associations change over the course of the late nineteenth century? And did other European metropoles of the time, such as Paris, Vienna or Berlin serve as a relevant comparison or contrast to London – either positively or negatively? The paper draws on material from the British Newspaper Archive and employs collocation and n-gram analysis conducted with the corpus linguistics tool Antconc in order to draw out relevant contexts and connotations about the metropolis. While previous scholarship has suggested that the term metropolis implied a strongly ‘European’ dimension, it will be argued that in the ‘everyday’ usage of newspapers, the metropolis was utilised to present London as a showcase of an imperial metropolis quite distinct from, rather than on par with, its European counterparts.


2 February Political Meetings Mapper with British Library Labs: mapping the origins of British democratic movements with text-mining, NLP, geo-parsing and crowd-sourcing

Katrina Navickas

Political Meetings Mapper (http://politicalmeetingsmapper.co.uk) was one of the two winning entries to the British Library Labs competition in 2015 ( http://labs.bl.uk/). The project designed a tool to text-mine the British Library 19thcentury newspapers for records of Chartist meetings of the 1840s, and geo-parse the results, plotting them on geo-referenced historic maps. This paper discusses how the experience of the collaboration as a ‘digital beginner’ holds lessons for both library professionals and academic historians in how to expand historians’ skills in digital history.

Venue: Room SH246, 2nd floor, South block, Senate House


19 February Pride of Place: England's LGBTQ Heritage

Rosie Sherrington (Historic England), Alison Oram (Leeds Beckett University), Justin Bengry (Birkbeck, University of London and Leeds Beckett University)

‘Pride of Place: England's LGBTQ Heritage’ is a collaborative initiative between Leeds Beckett University and Historic England to explore the relationship between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) history and the country’s buildings and spaces. The project aims to show that LGBTQ heritage is a fundamental part of our national heritage and to improve knowledge of, and access to, this diverse history. As part of this project we are using crowd sourcing techniques in the mapping the widest range of historical LGBTQ locations across England. A key feature of this initiative is engagement with the community, who are encouraged to identify sites of LGBTQ historical significance including everything from commercial and leisure locations, interiors and outside spaces, national historic sites and even domestic spaces in both the recent and more distant past. When completed the project will include not only the interactive map, but also an online exhibition, guidance packs for heritage and community groups, a teaching pack for use in schools, and other outputs. After the recent success of the iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern being listed as Grade II on the basis of its significance to LGBTQ history and heritage, we hope to recommend further locations for listing and amend the descriptions of currently listed buildings to identify their LGBTQ historical significance.
Website: historicengland.org.uk/prideofplace
Interactive Map: mapme.com/prideofplace

Co-hosted with the Public history and Digital history seminars Starting at the earlier time of 17:15

Venue: Room S246, 2nd floor, South block, Senate House


Summer Term 2016
DateSeminar details
19 April Mapping Paris: Artists and their Neighbourhoods in the 18th Century

Hannah Williams