Making History Matter
History is a social good. People find meaning and pleasure in understanding the lives of people in the past and history is at the centre of some of the most vital debates of our times. In a world that sometimes seems to stumble from crisis to crisis, expert historical analysis is more critical than ever before. And yet the value of history as an academic subject is also increasingly questioned. In this challenging environment we are more determined than ever to advocate for history and for historians across the country. We need philanthropic support to do this.
From its earliest days the IHR operated as a ‘historical laboratory’, encouraging innovation, and generating new knowledge. Through our innovative resources, our publications, our journal, and our research library we have developed an intellectual infrastructure that sustains scholarship across London, the UK, and the global history community.
We host networks, workshops, and conferences – and over sixty specialist seminar series’ that run throughout the year. We bring together historians of all topics, periods, and places, to think, collaborate and create. We draw people together on equal terms to make sense of the past. Ideas matter and they are conjured through the relationships and conversations that we support.
Nurturing university-based history is a key part of our mission because rigorous scholarship sustains all forms of history-making. We support scholars across the academic life cycle. Each year we provide the time and space for twenty five early career historians to complete their doctoral research and transform an original thesis into a ground-breaking book. We maintain and develop specialist library and digital resources for mid-career scholars as they embark on new projects as well as helping then develop the connections through which they can develop groundbreaking collaborations. We sustain an intellectual community – including through an extensive programme of events – amongst those who have retired from their posts, but not from their interest and work in history.
We offer a home, and support, for historians based outside of traditional academia too. Our community includes independent scholars, local and family historians, history teachers, museum professionals, and creative practitioners. We work with policy-makers through our non-partisan History & Policy network, and with local communities through the Victoria County History project and our Centre for the History of People, Place and Community.
We nurture relationships and create conversations. We advocate for history at all levels. We encourage and sustain historical curiosity, and we support anyone who wants to be a historian. Our work, and the work of our community shows why history matters - as scholarship, as part of the cultural economy, and as a way of collectively understanding who we are now, and who we might become.