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The British History in the Long Eighteenth Century Seminar lost a longstanding and loyal co-convenor on Tuesday 3 October 2023, Professor Arthur Burns of the King’s College London History Department. As a co-organiser, asker of questions, paper-giver and convivial diner at our post-seminar meals, Arthur was hugely respected and much loved. His sense of humour, dedication and collegiality are deeply missed. This special seminar marks his many contributions over the decades and will honour his memory as historian, colleague, and friend. 

The session will start at the slightly earlier time of 16.30. It will be followed by a Reception in the IHR Common Room.

In honor of Prof. Arthur Burns, this paper builds on themes evident in the Georgian Papers Programme, of family and state power and the iterative work of archives in the 18th and the 21st centuries. “Paper Goods” extends my research on genealogical practice in 18th century British America to examine the substantial transatlantic family archive that the Lloyds of Wales and Birmingham, and Philadelphia accumulated and shared from the late seventeenth into the early nineteenth century. As with any archive, the form, structure and content of the materials as well as their organization is revealing. The Lloyds’ attention to the details of family and to the narrative of its meaning in community, colonial, and national contexts importantly parallels the work of archives in the political economy of empire. Our close attention to this elite family’s ability to navigate and make use of archives across diverging politics in the early modern British Atlantic underscores how centrally and critically families facilitated these instruments – even as they made their own and other families the subjects of those same technologies. 

All welcome. This event is free to attend, but advance registration is required.

This will be a ‘hybrid’ seminar with a limited number of places available in person and a larger number of bookings for online attendance via Zoom. Those attending in person are asked to bring a Wi-Fi enabled laptop, tablet or phone.