CMH Electronic Newsletter no. 3

Issue number: 
Publish date: 
Sep 2003



Welcome to the third issue of the Centre for Metropolitan History’s periodic electronic newsletter. Our intention is to keep you informed about the latest news from the Centre for Metropolitan History, other research centres and local history societies, record offices and libraries which may be of interest. Each item of news is brief but links are provided to sources where fuller information is available.

The newsletter will only be sent to people who have asked to receive it. To unsubscribe, to notify change of address, or to send items of news for the next issue, please email Back issues will be available at


  • Our new AHRB-funded project, People in Place: families, households and housing in early modern London, begins on 1 October. We are looking forward to welcoming to the CMH Dr Mark Merry, the project's Research Officer, and Philip Baker as part-time Clerical Officer. Mark joins us from the History Data Service based at the University of Essex, and Philip was formerly a Research Editor on the New Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. 'People in Place' will examine the crucial role of family and household in the social and economic transformations that took place in London in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Population growth, immigration, urbanisation, and commercialisation produced new patterns of sociability, gender relations, employment, and domestic lifestyle. The project will combine the established methodologies of family reconstitution and associated nominative linkage with the reconstruction of London property-histories to reconstruct and analyse the dense matrix of families, households, properties, and buildings in three contrasting areas of London (Cheapside, Aldgate, Clerkenwell) in the period c.1540-1710. Led by Dr Vanessa Harding of Birkbeck, University of London, the project will also be co-supervised by Dr Richard Smith, of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, University of Cambridge and the CMH's Director, Dr Matthew Davies.
  • The programme and booking information for the 'Guilds: London...England...Europe' conference (Senate House, 31 October-1 November) is now online at The conference will explore the history of Europe's guilds and livery companies from 1000 to 1900. Keynote speakers are: Derek Keene (CMH), Carlo Poni (Bologna) and S.R. Epstein (LSE). The conference reception will be held in the splendid surroundings of Merchant Taylors' Hall.
  • The CMH's Leverhulme Fellow, Stefan Goebel, is organising a conference on 'Metropolitan Catastrophes: Scenarios, Experiences and Commemorations in the Era of Total War'. This two-day conference, to be held at the Institute of Historical Research 12-13 July 2004, will explore the cultural imprint of military conflict on metropolises (understood as cities of international stature, but not necessarily capital cities) worldwide over a long time-span.
  • Another conference for your diaries is 'Metropolitan Folklore', co-organised by the CMH and the Folklore Society, which will take place on 19 May 2004 at the Institute of Historical Research. The programme for this is currently being arranged.
  • New Humbul Topic: English Local History - Centre staff have brought together some useful internet resources tackling different aspects of English local history into a Humbul Topic: Humbul Topics gather together Internet resources that share a particular relevance found in the Humbul internet resource catalogue. Explore them all at The Humbul Humanities Hub is a service of the Resource Discovery Network funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee and the Arts and Humanities Research Board, and is hosted by the University of Oxford.
  • A Leverhulme Postgraduate Studentship, based in the CMH, is being offered for research in any aspect of comparative metropolitan history from the early medieval period onwards and with one element of the comparison situated in Europe.


  • The IHR's new website British History Online is now live ( British History Online, currently in its pilot stage, is a digital library of British historical sources for historians of Britain located worldwide seeking access to, and cross-searching of, an interconnected range of historical sources including text and information about people, places and businesses from the 12th century to the present day. Access is free of charge.
  • A new edition of Grants for History: A Guide to Funding, compiled by John R Davies with Jane Winters, will be published at the end of October. Containing information on dozens of new grants, the volume will be available from the Institute Bookshop for £15. Catalogue and ordering information available at:


  • Birkbeck, Faculty of Continuing Education, is again running a large number of London history courses and events in 2003-4, some of which are organised jointly with other educational partners, London museums and the National Trust. Courses include: London: Roman Times to the Great Fire; The Making of Modern London c.1660-2000; Tudor and Stuart London; The Port of London and Docklands 1700-1945; Eighteenth-century London: Culture and Society through Literature; Life and Leisure in Victorian London; Exploring London's Past; London's Politics and Government 1830-2003; Hospitals and Healing in London, 1815-1948. For further information go to; email
  • The Corporation of London Education Service's annual 'Global Walk' will be held on Saturday 11 October at 11 am. This year it will focus on the City Livery Companies. The walk is free and lasts around 90 minutes.
  • The Education Service is also organising a conference on 'City Merchants and the Arts: the arts in the "First City in the world" 1780 to 1820' in the Livery Hall, Guildhall, London EC2P 2EJ on Friday 14 November 2003. This is the second conference in the series 'City Merchants and the Arts'. The previous conference, set immediately after the Great Fire during the reconstruction of a destroyed City, showed mercantile resilience and determination in the face of terrible odds. This conference will contrast sharply with its predecessor - by the early 19th century, London was regarded as 'the first commercial city in the world'. The day will set out to investigate merchants' relationships to the arts and discover that already a large percentage of London's cultural heritage was financed by the City.
  • The London & Middlesex Archaeological Society's 38th Local History Conference will be held at the Museum of London Lecture Theatre (150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN) on Saturday 15 November, 10 am - 5 pm. Papers to be given at 'Lunatick London' include: Christopher Thomas (MoLAS) on 'Medieval London Hospitals', Sara Pennell (IHR) on 'Care of the mentally ill in the 17th & 18th centuries', Lionel Lambourne (formerly V&A Museum) on 'Charles & Mary Lamb: a brother's dilemma', Jeremy Taylor (formerly University of York) on 'Architects & the design of large asylums in the Victorian period', Michael Neve and Trevor Turner (Wellcome Institute) on 'Psychiatry & War', Robert Leon (Camden Local History Society) on 'St Luke's: a forgotten hospital' and Oliver Natelson (Friern Barnet & District Local History Society) on 'Friern Hospital'. There will also be displays of recent work and publications by Local History Societies.


  • Joint Archive Service for the Corporation of London: On 1 August the Corporation of London combined the administration of its two archive services - the Corporation of London Records Office at Guildhall and the London Metropolitan Archives in Clerkenwell. The two services will continue to operate from their current premises and current opening hours will be maintained. Changes include: a streamlined administration for CLRO-LMA with Dr Deborah Jenkins, LMA Head Archivist, assuming responsibility for both archive services following the retirement of Jim Sewell OBE after 33 years of Corporation service; and the creation of a centre of excellence in archive conservation, based at LMA. This opportunity to share knowledge and technical expertise will enable CLRO-LMA to be a UK-leader in the preservation of historic archive material.
  • London's Museums Archives and Libraries (LMAL) have collated an events list to advertise and promote the wide range of Black History Month events and activities taking place in the London region from October. A searchable database of events is available at: The Greater London Authority's site has a Black History Month guide: and The National Archives website also contains a list of special events:
  • The conference 'London: Art and Society in the mid Eighteenth Century' will be held on 24 October at the British Museum. This is being held in conjunction with the London 1753 exhibition, which continues until 23 November. Information on both the conference and exhibition at:
  • A reminder that the local history fair 'The London Maze' will be held on Saturday 11 October at Guildhall Art Gallery between 10.00 am - 4.00 pm. Entry is free. There will be 40 stands from London's local studies libraries, museums, archives and local history groups, with displays, knowledgeable staff on hand to offer advice and publications for sale. Expert guest speakers will be giving talks throughout the day and City of London guides will be offering a selection of scheduled guided walks of the local area on historical themes such as Roman London and Samuel Pepys' London.
  • The National Monuments Record Search Room at Blandford Street will close before the end of the financial year. English Heritage will contact users when the timescale for closure is known.


  • The BBC has launched a new history website: ‘Legacies' aims to scrutinise the same UK history that you can find in any book or website, but to show how this history unfolds across every locality of the UK. The site is hoping to produce a new themed feature every two months. The first is on 'Architectural Heritage' and will be followed in October by 'Immigration and Emigration', 'Myths and Legends' in December, and 'Work' in February.
  • WILL - "What's in London's Libraries" has just been launched. This is a new service for users and librarians of London libraries. It will bring together all 33 London library catalogues into a single, searchable database. It also includes a variety of information such as activities programmes and special collections. The URL is:
  • The PortCitiesUK website (, supported by the New Opportunities Fund, explores the impact of the maritime world on UK culture. Its constituent sites - PortCities London, PortCities Bristol, PortCities Southampton, PortCities Hartlepool and PortCities Liverpool - tell the stories of the people who lived and worked in the port communities, the key events that shaped their lives, and the trades, industries and leisure activities that grew up around these busy commercial centres. The site contains previously unseen digitised source material and personal stories from the maritime collections of museums, libraries and archives.
  • Several London museums, archives and local study libraries are collaborating with the National Archives and other organisations around the country to produce 'Moving Here' (, an interactive online resource which explores the last 200 years of Jewish, Irish, Caribbean and South-Asian migrations to England. The web site offers free access, for personal and educational use, to online versions of original material related to migration, including photographs, personal papers, government documents, maps and art objects, as well as a collection of sound recordings and video clips.
  • The website of the Artists' Papers Register ( has been updated with locations for artists' papers held in repositories in the Greater London region up to the end of August 2003.


  • Although the Centre's Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 has been available online for some time (, the printed version has just been published by the List and Index Society as vols. 32 and 33 of the Society's Special Series. Price for the 2-volume set: £24 (members of List and Index Society); £36 (non members). Order form and further details from the Assistant Secretary, List and Index Society, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrrey TW9 4DU (


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The information in this newsletter is provided in good faith, however the Centre for Metropolitan History cannot guarantee
the accuracy of the information and accepts no responsibility for any error or misrepresentation.

Centre for Metropolitan History
Institute of Historical Research
(School of Advanced Study, University of London)
Senate House
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU