Institute of Historical Research

London and Urban news and events

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 (

Archives for London: Seminar series - London Fog: The Biography

Thursday 6 April 2017, 6 pm | London Metropolitan Archives - Huntley Room 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB

Fogs have plagued London from the early nineteenth century and still have relevance to today’s modern world. They have divided opinion; most Londoners knew they were dangerous but others were ambivalent, seeing them as a sign of London's success and prosperity. Visitors came to London to admire them, and writers and artists were inspired by them. London fogs became a useful metaphorical tool for writers as diverse as Charles Dickens, T S Eliot, Sam Selvon and Lynne Reid Banks. It took until 1956 to pass the Clean Air Act even though many attempts were made before. Dr Christine Corton talks about this exciting story and one that is very relevant to the present pollution problems of today.

Advance booking is essential. Please book your place through Eventbrite or by contacting Louise Harrison 020 7332 3879. Free to all AfL members, non-members £6. Refreshments provided.

Call for Papers: Literary London Conference on 'Fantastic London: Dream, Speculation and Nightmare' (13-14 July 2017)

Proposals are invited for papers, panels and roundtable sessions, which consider any period or genre of literature about, set in, inspired by, or alluding to central and suburban London and its environs, from the city's roots in pre-Roman times to its imagined futures. While the main focus will be on literary texts, interdisciplinary contributions relating to film, architecture, visual arts, topography and theories of urban space are actively encouraged. Papers from postgraduate students are particularly welcome. For full details see Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted using the online form at: deadline for abstracts is 17 March 2017.

New interactive website: Histories of Whitechapel

The Survey of London (University College London), has just launched a new webiste 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

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 on LMA's events pages.

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:;

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