Institute of Historical Research

IHR@90 digital exhibition

Professor A. F. Pollard, founder of the IHR

This digital exhibition has been produced as part of the celebrations to mark the 90th anniversary of the Institute of Historical Research (IHR). It provides an insight into the early years of the IHR in particular, and highlights the way in which it has responded to the needs of the history community since its establishment in 1921.

The idea for some sort of centralised postgraduate provision for history in the capital was first put forward by A. F. Pollard in 1903. In his inaugural lecture as professor of constitutional history at the University of London he gave his reasons as follows:

  • There is no competition; for there is no real school of research in History at any English university’.
  • The special opportunities which London enjoys should enable it … to outdistance its rivals with ease … graduates who aspire to research in Modern History are compelled to resort to London’.
  • Here is a void clamouring to be filled; herein lies the unique opportunity for a post-graduate school of research in London University’.