Institute of Historical Research

London and Urban news and events

London Metropolitan Archives: News and Events

London Metropolitan Archives is home to an extraordinary range of documents, images, maps, films and books about London. LMA is free to use and open to everyone. Whether you’re tracing your family history or researching the history of your neighbourhood, if you’re interested in London or Londoners, LMA is the place to visit. LMA also has programme of events throughout the year - exhibitions, talks, walks, tours and workshops. Details of these events and news from the archives can be found at:

Archives for London seminar: James Cook: The Voyages

Thursday 7 June 2018, 18:00-19:30 | London Metropolitan Archives Huntley Room, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB

The British Library's new major exhbition, 'James Cook: The Voyages', marks 250 years since the Endeavour set sail from Plymouth. The exhibition tells the story of Coook's three world changing voyages through original documents, many of which were produced by the artists, scientists and seamen on board the ship. Cook's voyages are still highly controversial and contested today and the exhibition includes films exploring contemporary views on Cook's legacy. This talk will focus on the process of creating the exhibition as well as on key exhibits and loans.

Advance booking is essential. Please book your place through Eventbrite: or by telephoning Alex Fisher (AfL Secretary) on 020 7594 8818. Free for AfL members, non-members £6. Refreshments provided.

The Victoria History of Middlesex: Knightsbridge and Hyde - Pamela Taylor

Paperback; 96 pp.; ISBN 9781909646667; £12.99

Today's Knightsbridge, the wealthy shoppers' paradise, is a recent cross-border development. This book breaks new ground by uncovering an earlier, larger Knightsbridge and showing why its initial extent and history have been largely forgotten. Knightsbridge was the southern part of the Westminster abbey manor of Knightsbridge and Westbourne, and until 1900 covered the same area as the parish of St Margaret Westminster Detached. Pre-1900 Knightsbridge/Westminster included today's Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, almost half of 'South Kensington', and Hyde Park west of the Serpentine (or river Westbourne). So why was so much of Knightsbridge lost to memory, becoming thought of only in terms of Westminster, Hyde or (until 1900 entirely wrongly) Kensington?

This new volume in the VCH Shorts series is available to buy at:

Call for Papers - The Pursuit of Global Urban History: A Dialogue Between Two Fields

11-12 July 2019 | Leicester

Organised by the Global Urban History Project and the Centre for Urban History, Leicester. Keynote: Sunil Amrith (Harvard University). Proposals for individual presentations (20 minutes) and panel sessions (3-4 papers) are invited for this conference exploring the implications for urban history of the 'global turn'. The conference will consider the protocols of knowledge production that make possible the writing of 'global' history; the intellectual genealogy of the current 'global turn' within urban history; and how global history and urban history can mutually enrich each other. See full CFP.  Abstracts (max 250 words) and a two-page CV should be sent to Sally Hartshorne ( by 31 October 2018

Call for Papers: Society for Court Studies/Victorian Society 'Courts & Capitals 1815-1914 (V)'

10 November 2018 | Art Workers' Guild, Queen Square, London WC1

The Society for Court Studies will be hosting the fifth one-day conference in its 'Courts & Capitals 1815-1914' series on 10 November 2018 at the Art Workers’ Guild, Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT. Among the cities to be covered at this conference will be Stuttgart, Istanbul, Helsinki and Rio de Janeiro. Proposals for papers on other cities not yet included in the series, such as Belgrade, Florence, Naples, Turin and Cetinje, are invited. Please email any proposals to Dr David Gelber ( and Dr Philip Mansel (

New interactive website: Histories of Whitechapel

The Survey of London (University College London), has just launched a new website dedicated to Whitechapel at

A map is used to plot information about every building in Whitechapel in 2016, including photographs, stories and research, film clips and audio recordings added by historians, local people and others with an interest in the area. Anyone with information, research, images, or memories of Whitechapel is encouraged to contribute to the site.

Transport Historians?

Interested in joining a discussion group of transport historians working in universities and museums from different fields (social, economic, business, political history etc.) in London (or within travelling distance) to share ideas, contacts and information? Please email David Turner (University of York)

The Foundling Hospital

Are you carrying out research on the Foundling Hospital? If so, you might be interested in joining the Foundling Hospital Research Forum. The forum is open to all those studying the Foundling Hospital archives in depth. Further details.

David Allin's book, The Early Years of the Foundling Hospital 1739/41-1773 is now available in pdf format here

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